Cox and Kingsbury wrap up Olympic test event weekend on top
Bokwang Phoenix Park, KOR - The second of this weekend’s Olympic test event World Cup competitions took to the future home of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games on Saturday in Korea, with moguls World Cup leaders Britt Cox (AUS) and Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) taking the wins and furthering their holds atop their respective leaderboards.
With a supremely well-prepared moguls course on hand to allow the men and ladies of the FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup to strut their stuff and perhaps show off who might be on top come time for the Games next season, competition was at an extremely high level all day.
Leading the charge from start to finish on the ladies’ side was Cox, whose storybook 2016/17 season continues to impress. Taking top spot in qualifications and final one, Cox was the one to beat heading the big final.
There, staring down the course where she should be a favourite to medal in one year’s time, Cox simply shrugged off any pressure and laid down what was almost certainly the best run of the competition. While she locked in the third fastest time and second best jumping scores in her final run, Cox took the decision on the basis of her exceptional turns and control from top to bottom.
“I’m just happy to put down three consistent runs today,” said a smiling Cox, who took the win with a score of 81.66, “The course here was so good today. One of the biggest questions people have been asking all week is ‘What’s the course like?’ and I’ve got to say it’s just as straightforward as it gets, which means we can just get in there and have so much fun skiing in it. Today was excellent.”
Second and third on the day once again went to the Canadian squad, with Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Andi Naude rounding out the podium, separated by just fractions of a point once the dust had settled. Dufour-Lapointe would take second with a score of 78.35 while Naude, who is consistently registering some of the highest jumping scores from event to event this season, would take third with a score of 78.16.
Cox is now 171 points clear of Dufour-Lapointe on the ladies’ World Cup leaderboard, with 605 points to Dufour-Lapointe’s 434.
Kingsbury edges Reiherd by the barest of margins
In the men’s competition it was Mikael Kingsbury taking his third victory in a row and fifth of the season - though he did so by the smallest margin of any victory in his career.
Dropping last in Saturday’s competition after qualifying in first and earning the top score in the first final round, Kingsbury knew he would be in tough after watching Kazakstan’s Dmitriy Reiherd but down a finals run that earned him the highest jumping scores of any athlete all evening and a final score of 86.70.
In response to Reiherd's run, Kingsbury turned on the gas, putting down the fastest time of the finals as well as registering the highest turn scores of the night to earn himself a score of 86.71 - just .01 better than Reiherd.
“Tonight was insane, beating Dmitriy by .01,” Kingsbury said, standing beside Reiherd in the finish, “Tonight’s competition was super tight and I gave all I had, so I’m super happy with this win.”
Third place went to Kingsbury’s teammate and good friend Philippe Marquis, earning his second podium in the last three events and giving the Canadian squad four podiums total on the night.
“Oh my gosh, what a venue!” said Marquis after the competition, clearly enjoying his moment, “I’m ready for PyeongChang 2018! It was a great day, great skiing. The level of competition was extremely high, and I’m so stoked to get out of here with a podium.”
On the World Cup leaderboard Kingsbury now extends his advantage to nearly 250 points, with 620 to Ben Cavet’s 372.
From PyeongChang the moguls World Cup now moves to Tazawako (JPN), for both moguls and dual moguls competition from February 18-19.