FREESTYLE SKIING Preview: Aerials, Moguls and Ski Cross on tap

Spectators will be ready for the Freestylers in Lake Placid!

The Lake Placid Freestyle Cup will host the Moguls and Aerials stars, while the fourth Ski Cross competition is readying in Sweden.

Moguls and Aerials in Lake Placid, New York (USA)

Moguls means the great Mikael Kingsbury (CAN), who has won all four competitions this season (three in Moguls and one in Dual Moguls) and ha a streak of 23 straight World Cup competitions with a medal. He’s won three times in Lake Placid, in 2012-13-15.

However, at the last Moguls competition in Lake Placid two years ago, it was Dmitriy Reikherd (KAZ) who walked off with the victory. So this could get interesting.

In the Moguls World Cup standings, Kingsbury leads with 400 points (of course), with Benjamin Cavet (FRA) second at 230, Sweden’s Walter Wallberg third with 200. Reikherd is fifth with 156 points.

The women’s Moguls leader is the reigning World Cup champion: France’s Perrine Laffont, who has 320 points. She is trailed by American Jaelin Kauf (305) and Yulia Galysheva (KAZ: 305), and Aussie Jakara Anthony (225).

This is the season opener for the Freestyle Aerials skiers, with just four events on the program for this season. The defending men’s champion is Russia’s Maxim Burov (355 points), who won a tight race with Zongyang Jia (CHN: 329) and Belarus’s Anton Kushnir (320). Ukraine’s Oleksandr Abramenko won in PyeongChang, followed by Jia and Burov.

The women’s Aerials champ for 2017-18 was China’s Mengtao Xu (405), who outlasted Hanna Huskova (BLR: 361) and Russian Kristina Spiridonova (237). Huskova won the Olympic Aerials in PyeongChang, ahead of Xin Zhang (CHN) and Fanyu Kong (CHN).

NBC has delayed coverage of the Moguls on Saturday at 5 p.m. Eastern time and the Aerials on Sunday, also at 5 p.m. Eastern. Look for results here.

Ski Cross in Idre Fjall (SWE)

Back-to-back Ski Cross competitions for both men and women are slated for Saturday and Sunday in Idre Fjall in Sweden. Thanks to some bad weather, only three races have been concluded this season, with two more this weekend and then six remaining on the schedule.

Swiss Jonas Lenherr and Joos Berry won two of the three opening races, with France’s Jonathon Midol winning the other. But the most consistent – and the World Cup leader right now – is Bastien Midol, with two silvers in the three races. He has 210 points to brother Jonathon’s 160, with Canada’s Brady Leman third with 126.

Defending World Cup women’s champ Sandra Naeslund of Sweden is off and running again, leading the World Cup standings with 260 points after winning the Cross Alps Tour in December. Fanny Smith (SUI) is right behind with 245 points, pursued by Marielle Thompson (CAN: 190).

Naeslund and Smith went 1-2 (Smith first), 1-2 (Smith first) and 2-1 (Naeslund first) in the three races so far, with Thompson third twice.

The defending champions from the Idre races last season are Alex Fiva (SUI) and Jean-Frederic Chapuis (FRA) for the men and Naeslund for the women.

NBC’s Olympic Channel has coverage of the events, on Saturday at 5:30 a.m. Eastern time and then at 4:45 a.m. on Sunday. Look for results here.

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