FREESTYLE SKIING Preview: More Mikael Kingsbury magic coming in Japan?

Moguls superstar Mikael Kingsbury of Canada

The Freestyle Skiing World Cup has a big weekend ahead, with Aerials action in Minsk (BLR), Moguls in Tazawako (JPN) and Ski Cross in Sunny Valley (RUS).

In Minsk, the Aerials competition will be held on Saturday only and is the third of four competitions in the discipline this season. The winners so far:

Men:
Lake Placid: Maxim Burov (RUS)
Moscow: Stanislav Nikitin (RUS)

Women:
Lake Placid: Mangtao Xu (CHN)
Moscow: Aliaksandra Ramanouskaya (BLR)

Burov is the defending seasonal champion in the men’s division and Xu has won the last two World Cup titles. Look for results here.

In Tazawako, both a Moguls and Dual Moguls event will be held and that means it’s Mikael Kingsbury time. The double World Champion from Park City has five career wins in Tazawako and has won both events on the weekend twice before (2015, 2017). He can wrap up his eighth straight Moguls World Cup title this weekend, as he has a 545-375 lead over France’s Benjamin Cavet.

This is the second of three Dual Moguls competitions, with Kingsbury having won the opener over Oskar Olofsson (SWE) and Cavet. Interestingly, Kingsbury was second in both events last year at Tazawako to Japan’s Ikuma Horishima.

The women’s Moguls race is still up for grabs, with France’s Perrine Laffont (500) leading Jakara Anthony (AUS: 405) and American Jaelin Kauf (400). Kauf won the first Dual Moguls event, over Laffont and Yulia Galysheva (KAZ). Look for results here.

In Sunny Valley (RUS), the ninth and 10th races of the 11-race Ski Cross season will take place. The seasonal standings:

Men:
1. 496 Bastien Midol (FRA)
2. 383 Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA)
3. 333 Alex Fiva (SUI)

Women:
1. 563 Fanny Smith (SUI)
2. 550 Sandra Naeslund (SWE)
3. 470 Marielle Thompson (CAN)

Last year’s winners were Jonas Lenherr (SUI) and Kevin Drury (CAN) for the men, and Smith (SUI) and Naeslund (SWE) for the women. Look for results here.