Japan, Russia, and Sweden with strong showings at Duved (SWE) JWC moguls
Duved (SWE) - The final FIS moguls competitions of the 2017/18 calendar came and went this weekend at Sweden’s Duved resort, where the moguls and dual moguls Junior World Championships competitions were held on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Located just down the road from the famous Swedish ski haven of Äre, Duved last season successfully hosted the Swedish national championships before stepping up this season to welcome the world’s up-and-comers to try their hand on the resort’s tricky moguls course.
Between the two ladies’ competitions it was the Russia moguls squad leading the way with three medals, followed by Japan with two and Canada taking home a single piece of hardware.
Japan ruled the roost on day one, with 18-year-old Kisara Sumiyoshi claiming gold with a score of 84.76, followed closely by her 17-year-old teammate and silver medal-winner Hinako Tomitaka and her score of 83.74. Meanwhile, the first Russian medal of the weekend went Viktoriia Lazarenko who, as the second-youngest competitor in the field at just 14 years old, earned a score of 77.70 and the bronze medal.
The next day, Lazarenko stepped her game up in a big way, emerging victorious from a super final showdown with Canada’s Maia Schwinghammer to claim the dual moguls gold medal and her second podium result of the weekend. By adding her JWC results to her back-to-back podium results at the Russian national championships in March, Lazarenko has served notice that she’ll be one to watch on the World Cup circuit in the not to distant future.
Schwinghammer would take the silver to cap off a promising season that saw the 16-year-old claim her first Nor-Am podium back in February, while Lazarenko’s teammate Anastasia Kulikova would cap off a strong showing for the Russian ladies with a bronze medal.
Over on the men’s side of things it was the host Swedes taking home the most hardware on the weekend with three medals, followed by France with a pair and Japan with one.
First up was the single moguls event, where 20-year-old Loke Nilsson - a veteran of nine World Cup competitions - bested all comers with a gold medal-winning score of 86.30. Continueing the good news for the Swedish squad, Nilsson was followed up by his 16-year-old teammate Albin Holmgren and his score of 84.98. France’s Thibaud Mouille, 18, finished in bronze medal position with a score of 83.00.
In the final competition of the weekend it was one of the most experienced athletes in the competition stepping up to assert his status, as Walter Wallberg made it two-for-two in the gold medal chase for the Swedes, besting 20-year-old Frenchman Nicolas Degaches in the dual moguls super final. Though by no means the oldest competitor in the competition at 18 years old, Wallberg already has 16 World Cup starts to his credit - including one World Cup podium - and came into the Junior World Championships riding high after taking double gold at the Swedish national championships a few weeks prior.
Third place in the men’s duals went to 19-year-old Takashi Koyama of Japan to cap a strong weekend for his national development squad.