The Lake Placid Freestyle Cup was a showcase for Russian and Chinese Aerialists and France and Australian Moguls stars … but for the first time in 24 World Cup starts, not Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury.
The Olympic and World Champion finished fifth in the men’s Moguls and saw his streak of 23 straight World Cups with a medal end in Lake Placid. He’s won there three times, in 2012-13-15, but not this time.
That opened the door for France’s Benjamin Cavet, who had won 13 career World Cup medals, but never a gold. Well, he has one now, out-pointing Sweden’s Walter Wallberg, 18, who won his fourth career medal and third this season.
Similarly, 20-year-old Jakara Anthony had one World Cup medal to her credit, from earlier this season, but won her first World Cup gold ahead of France’s Perrine Laffont, who is not only the reigning World Cup Moguls champion, but also the only skier to win a medal in all four competitions so far this season.
The first events of the Aerials season were won by familiar faces: reigning World Cup champions Maxim Burov (RUS) and Mengtao Xu (CHN). In fact, Russians (2) and Chinese (4) won all of the medals in these two events, with Xu leading a sweep! Summaries:
FIS Freestyle World Cup
Lake Placid, New York (USA) ~ 18-19 January 2019
(Full results here)
Men’s Moguls: 1. Benjamin Cavet (FRA), 84.83; 2. Walter Wallberg (SWE), 81.47; 3. Matt Graham (AUS), 80.94; 4. Casey Andringa (USA), 76.87; 5. Mikael Kingsbury (CAN), 72.93. Also: 6. Bradley Wilson (USA), 61.08.
Women’s Moguls: 1. Jakara Anthony (AUS), 78.76; 2. Perrine Laffont (FRA), 74.94; 3. Tess Johnson (USA), 72.22; 4. Jaelin Kauf (USA), 71.25; 5. Morgan Schild (USA), 63.88.
Men’s Aerials: 1. Maxim Burov (RUS), 129.86; 2. Xindi Wang (CHN), 121.27; 3. Stanislav Nikitin (RUS), 116.29; 4. Ilia Burov (RUS), 113.72; 5. Oleksandr Abramenko (UKR), 112.67.
Women’s Aerials: 1. Mengtao Xu (CHN), 89.88; 2. Qi Shao (CHN), 71.92; 3. Nuo Xu (CHN), 67.28; 4. Madison Varmette (USA), 52.49; 5. Winter Vinecki (USA), 48.14.
In the Ski Cross World Cup in Idre Fjall (SWE), Swiss Alex Fiva, 32, won his third straight event at this site and 12th career World Cup gold with a tight win over France’s emerging star, Bastien Midol. It was Fiva’s first World Cup win since his victory at Idre Fjall in January of 2018.
Saturday was good for 30-somethings, as 30-year-old Heidi Zacher won the women’s Ski Cross, logging her seventh career win and first in Sweden.
On Sunday, France’s Sochi gold medalist Jean-Frederic Chapuis won his 16th World Cup event and defended his win at Idre Fjall last season. Swiss Fanny Smith upgraded from bronze to gold from Saturday won her 16th World Cup gold as well. Summaries:
FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup
Idre Fjall (SWE) ~ 18-20 January 2019
(Full results here)
Men’s Ski Cross I/Big Final: 1. Alex Fiva (SUI); 2. Bastien Midol (FRA); 3. Daniel Traxler (AUT); 4. Adam Kappacher (AUT).
Men’s Ski Cross II/Big Final: 1. Jean-Fredric Chapuis (FRA); 2. Daniel Traxler (AUT); 3. Romain Detraz (SUI); 4. Victor Oehling Norberg (SWE).
Women’s Ski Cross I/Big Final: Heidi Zacher (GER); 2. Marielle Thompson (CAN); 3. Fanny Smith (SUI); 4. Lisa Andersson (SWE).
Women’s Ski Cross II/Big Final: 1. Smith (SUI); 2. Brittany Phelan (CAN); 3. Kelsey Serwa (CAN); 4. Thompson (CAN).
(Updated to include Sunday’s Freestyle Ski Cross results.)