FREESTYLE SKIING Preview: Aerials and Dual Moguls titles on the line this weekend

U.S. Freestyle Moguls star Jaelin Kauf

A lot has been decided already, but the seasonal World Cup titles in Aerials and in Dual Moguls will be determined this weekend in two different venues:

Aerials at Shimao Lotus Mountain

The World Cup Aerials season is a short one, comprising just five events this season, with three complete and the remaining two on Saturday and Sunday at Shimao Lotus Mountain (CHN). In the men’s division, there are four contenders left:

1. 236 Maxim Burov (RUS) ~ Defending World Cup Champion
2. 220 Stanislav Nikitin (RUS)
3. 186 Xindi Wang (CHN)
4. 144 Anton Kushner (BLR)
5. 105 Ilia Burov (RUS)

Burov has won twice, Wang has been second twice and Nikitin has been third twice and won once. Zongyang Jia (CHN) won both events at Secret Garden last year, but Burov won the seasonal title. Burov also won the recent World Championship in Aerials, ahead of Ukraine’s Oleksandr Abramenko.

Xu has been the women’s favorite all along and is trying to win her third straight World Cup seasonal title:

1. 260 Mengtao Xu (CHN) ~ Two-time defending champion
2. 176 Shao Qi (CHN)
3. 159 Sicun Xu (CHN)
4. 130 Laura Peel (AUS)
5. 128 Aliaksandra Ramanouskaya (BLR)

Ramanouskaya won the 2019 World Championship in Aerials, with Xu third and Russian Liubov Nikitina second, but Xu will be hard to beat at home. She was second in both competitions at Secret Garden last year and that would be more than enough to give her another Crystal Globe.

Look for results here.

Moguls and Dual Moguls at Shymbulak

The men’s Moguls seasonal trophy has been clinched – for the seventh time in a row – by Canadian great Mikael Kingsbury, but the Dual Moguls division is up for grabs. The current standings:

1. 200 Mikaela Kingsbury (CAN)
2. 130 Ikuma Horishima (JPN)
3. 120 Benjamin Cavet (FRA)
4. 112 Oskar Olofsson (SWE)
5. 95 Matt Graham (AUS)

Kingsbury has won each of the first two events and Cavet was third twice. At the recent World Championships, Kingsbury won the gold against Bradley Wilson of the U.S. in the final.

The women’s Moguls situation is similar. France’s Perrine Laffont has clinched the seasonal Moguls title, but the Dual Moguls is undecided; standings:

1. 180 Jaelin Kauf (USA)
1. 180 Perrine Laffont (FRA)
3. 110 Yulia Galysheva (KAZ)
4. 105 Jakara Anthony (AUS)
5. 76 Hinako Tomitaka (JPN)

Kauf and Laffont have placed 1-2 and 2-1 in the two events so far; Laffont beat Kauf in the final of the World Championships Dual Moguls, with Tess Johnson of the U.S. earning the bronze medal.

Skiing at home, look for Galysheva to get a boost from the crowd. Look for results here.