FREESTYLE & SNOWBOARD: Kingsbury retains his crown as Moguls King

Moguls superstar Mikael Kingsbury of Canada

When the subject is Freestyle Moguls, the first question to ask is always about Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury.

The best Moguls skier of all time, Kingsbury has won world titles in 2013 (Moguls) and 2015 (Dual Moguls) and the Olympic gold medal in PyeongChang. He came into the 2019 Worlds, however, having been third in Sierra Nevada (ESP) in 2017. And he was returning to Deer Valley, where he won “only” bronze (Moguls) and silver (Dual Moguls) back at the 2011 Worlds.

No worries. Kingsbury has been at the top of his game all season, winning five of the first six Moguls events during the World Cup season. At the World Championships in Deer Valley on Friday night, he had the top score in qualifying (81.29), the top score in the first final (83.60) and then scored 84.89 in the medal-final to grab his third world crown, and he’s still just 26.

There was a lively fight for second, with Australia’s Matt Graham winning the silver, with places 2-5 separated by only 0.92 for Graham (81.94), Daichi Hara (JPN: 81.66), defending champion Ikuma Horishima (JPN: 81.30) and Benjamin Cavet (FRA); 81.02).

Kingsbury had the highest base score and the highest or equal-highest degree of difficulty on his jumps to aid him in victory.

The women’s Moguls event was far less predictable, as the five events on this season’s World Cup tour had been won by four different skiers, with only France’s Perrine Laffont a double victor (and the 2018 Olympic gold medalist).

Australia’s Jakara Anthony and Laffont were 1-2 (75.80-75.11) in the qualifying, then the same pair led the first final, 79.58-78.31.

In the medal-final, however, it was Yulia Galysheva of Kazakhstan who got off a strong run that scored 79.14 from the third position and put the pressure on the final three. American Jaelin Kauf, the Dual Moguls bronze medalist from 2017, could score only 66.41 and finished sixth. Laffont responded strongly and posted a 78.70 score to move into second with only Anthony remaining.

Anthony had a better base score than Galysheva – 51.90 to 49.40 – but was not as good in the air, losing that segment by 15.24-12.52 as her degree of difficulty was not as high as the Kazazh and that was the difference as Galysheva survived as the gold medalist by 79.14-78.99.

It was her first World Championship gold and third career Worlds medal, after bronze (2015) and silver (2017) in the Dual Moguls. It was Anthony’s first career Worlds medal of any kind and third for Laffont, who repeated her silver-medal finish in Moguls from 2017.

The Freestyle and Snowboard Worlds continues through the 10th, with the Dual Moguls and Halfpipe scheduled for Saturday. The broadcast schedule is here. Look for results here. Summaries:

FIS Freestyle Skiing World Championships
Park City, Utah (USA) ~ 1-10 February 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s Aerials (at Deer Valley)/ Super Final: 1. Maxim Burov (RUS), 130.09; 2. Oleksandr Abramenko (UKR), 126.24; 3. Noe Roth (SUI), 125.22; 4. Pavel Krotov (RUS), 107.24; 5. Stanislav Nikitin (RUS), 80.54; 6. Xindi Wang (CHN), 61.50.

Men’s Big Air (at Canyons Village): 1. Fabian Boesch (SUI), 186.00; 2. Henrik Harlaut (SWE), 184.00; 3. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (CAN), 183.25; 4. Alex Hall (USA), 180.50; 5. Finn Bilous (NZL), 179.75; 6. Oliwer Magnusson (SWE), 171.00; 7. Jesper Tjader (SWE), 152.75; 8. Oystein Braaten (NOR), 109.00. Also: 10. Nick Goepper (USA), 43.00.

Men’s Moguls (at Deer Valley): 1. Mikael Kingsbury (CAN), 84.89; 2. Matt Graham (AUS), 81.94; 3. Daichi Hara (JPN), 81.66; 4. Ikuma Horishima (JPN), 81.30; 5. Benjamin Cavet (FRA), 81.02; 6. Philippe Marquis (CAN), 79.50.

Men’s Ski Cross (at Solitude Mountain)/ Big Final: 1. Francois Place (FRA); 2. Brady Leman (CAN); 3. Kevin Drury (CAN); 4. Alex Fiva (SUI). Small Final: 5. Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA); 6. Johannes Aujesky (AUT); 7. Viktor Andersson (SWE); 8. Filip Flisar (SLO).

Men’s Slopestyle (at Park City): 1. James Woods (GBR), 86.68; 2. Birk Ruud (NOR), 85.40; 3. Goepper (USA), 85.18; 4. Mac Forehand (USA), 83.30; 5. Henrik Harlaut (SWE), 82.70; 6. Colin Wili (SUI), 81.81; 7. McRae Williams (USA), 76.28; 8. Jonas Hunziker (SUI), 73.43.

Women’s Aerials (at DeerValley)/ Super Final: 1. Aliaksandra Ramanouskaya (BLR), 113.18; 2. Liubov Nikitina (RUS), 89.88; 3. Mengtao Xu (CHN), 89.88; 4. Laura Peel (AUS), 87.77; 5. Ashley Caldwell (USA), 58.81; 6. Sofia Alekseeva (RUS), 37.80.

Women’s Big Air (at Canyons Village): 1. Tess Ledeux (FRA), 184.75; 2. Julia Krass (USA), 173.75; 3. Isabel Atkin (GBR), 168.75; 4. Sarah Hoefflin (SUI), 167.75; 5. Silvia Bertagna (ITA), 122.25; 6. Anastasia Tatalina (RUS), 92.50; 7. Mathilde Gremaud (SUI), 77.75; 8. Maggie Voisin (USA), 41.75.

Women’s Moguls (at Deer Valley): 1. Yulia Galysheva (KAZ), 79.14; 2. Jakara Anthony (AUS), 78.99; 3. Perrine Laffont (FRA), 78.70; 4. Anastasia Smirnova (RUS), 72.67; 5. Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN), 71.25; 6. Jaelin Kauf (USA), 66.41.

Women’s Ski Cross (at Solitude Mountain)/ Big Final: 1. Marielle Thompson (CAN); 2. Fanny Smith (SUI); 3. Alizee Baron (FRA); 4. Sanna Luedi (SUI); Small Final: 5. Kelsey Serwa (CAN); 6. Brittany Phelan (CAN); 7. Nikol Kucerova (CZE); 8. Mikayla Martin (CAN).

Women’s Slopestyle (at Park City): Canceled due to the weather.

Mixed Team Aerials (at Deer Valley): 1, Switzerland (Bouvard, Gygax, Roth), 303.08; 2. China (Xu, Sun, Wang), 297.82; 3. Russia (Nikitina, Nikitin, Burov), 296.74; 4. Belarus, 272.15; 5. Canada, 244.56; 6. United States (Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis, Jon Lillis), 227.18; 7. Australia, 218.29; 8. Kazakhstan, 178.00.