Cox and Kingsbury on top in World Cup Finale
Thaiwoo, China - The second of the weekend's back-to-back moguls World Cup finals competitions staged in Thaiwoo (CHN) saw Britteny Cox (AUS) and Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) taking impressive victories to seal their dominance on tour in 2016/2017 season.
As has been the case all week long, sunny skies and a perfectly prepared course greeted the athletes also on Sunday morning, with both organizers and Mother Nature working in tandem to create ideal conditions for the season-ending dual moguls competition.
In the ladies' competition Brittney Cox stormed through the tight course in China for her season's seventh victory, eliminating Tess Johnson (USA), Alex-Ann Gagnon (CAN), Andi Naude (CAN) on her way to the big final. Once there she put together another solid run, though her victory was essentially ensured when her opponent Perrine Laffont (FRA)- winner of Saturday's single moguls competition - struggled to stay compact and went out of the course early after the start.
The win gave Cox seven victories in what was a superb World Cup season for the 22-year-old. "I'm so excited," Cox said holding her moguls crystal globe, "First win at the first event in Ruka, and now another one at the last event in China to wrap up the season. I'm just so happy."
Despite some problems in the big final, Perrine Laffont showed another amazing performance this weekend following her first place finish in yesterday's event. Second place on the day seems just accurate to her second place in the overall World Cup standing.
Third place went to Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Canada who edged out her teammate Andi Naude in ladies' small final. Justine also finished third in the overall moguls World Cup standing.
Cox was on point throughout the season, locking up the moguls crystal globe last weekend with a ninth-place finish that was actually her worst result all winter, before finally making official her overall FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup win with today's victory in China.
Cox’s incredible achievements are certainly the biggest in what has been huge season for an Aussie snow sports contingent that has had their best-ever World Cup season. With her overall win, Cox joins an elite group of Aussie athletes that includes Dale Begg-Smith, Lydia Lassila, and Jacqui Cooper. Not bad for an athlete who had never won a World Cup competition before this season.
On the men's side of things it was once again Mikael Kingsbury, as the great Canadian took back-to-back victories on the course in Thaiwoo, making it also his seventh win in a row and 42nd World Cup total. Kingsbury was once again unstoppable defeating on his way to the big final the likes of James Matheson (AUS), Jussi Penttala (FIN), Brodie Summers (AUS) and Bradley Wilson (USA).
Then, in the big final Kingsbury left no doubts as to who owns the moguls throne, outscoring Swiss' youngster Marco Tade for his seventh-straight win to match a record he himself set back in 2014/15.
"It was an amazing season," Kingsbury said following the award ceremony, "I'm happy with where I'm right now and I believe I've done a good job with my coaches and team to get me to this point and win my sixth World Cup crystal globe."
Swiss skier Marco Tade, with the second place finish scored his second ever World Cup podium, two years after his third spot in the dual moguls event in Deer Valley (USA).
Bradley Wilson of USA rounded out today's podium with his second season's podium spot, after he edged out Canada's Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh in men's small final.
For the sixth consecutive year Kingsbury were awarded with both moguls and FIS Freestyle Skiing overall World Cup crystal globe highlighting yet another record-breaking season for Canada's finest mogul skier of all time. Kingsbury finished on top of the ranking ahead of the second aerialist Guangpu Qi (CHN) and third slopestyle and big air specialist Henrik Harlaut (SWE).
And, of course, Kingsbury had already officially topped the moguls World Cup rankings with is wins last weekend in Tazawako, with Benjamin Cavet (FRA) and Matt Graham (AUS) coming insecond and third.
As the 2016/2017 has come to an end, we also have seen awarded the Rookie of the Year honours, with the USA's Olivia Giaccio for the ladies and Sweden's Walter Walberg on the men's side earning the most votes. Giaccio finished on 11th place in the overall moguls World Cup ranking with a season highlighted by her third place finish last week in dual moguls competition in Tazawako (JPN). Walberg on the other hand ranked 22th in men's World Cup standing with his best result being a third place in Val St Come before sustaining the season-ending shoulder injury.
Thanks to a pretty dominant year in both moguls and ski cross World Cups, Team Canada took yet another victory in the nations' ranking ahead of second Team France and third Team USA.
The world's best moguls skiers now head to World Championships in Sierra Nevada (SPA), where they will compete in moguls and dual moguls competition on Wednesday and Thursday, March 8-9.