Kingsbury earns record dual moguls win in Ruka
It was a historic afternoon in Ruka (FIN) for the first Moguls World Cup of the 2015/16 season, as 23 year-old Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) earned a record 29th World Cup win. In the ladies’ competition the USA's Mikaela Matthews showed determination to take her first career World Cup win.
Under the northern lights of Arctic Circle, 80 skiers from 15 different nations were on hand to challenge Ruka's famous Battery course.
All eyes were on Kingsbury today as he looked to best the record for the most career men's moguls wins held by French legend Edgar Grospiron for 21 years ago.
And it was clear that Kingsbury was on a mission, storming through both qualifications and the finals with his trademark confidence and style, on the road to perhaps the biggest World Cup win of his career.
"I tried really hard this summer and I've always felt really good coming into the competitions in route. I've won here several times, though not last December," said Kingsbury, "This is my 29th World Cup win, and now I've just beat the famous Olympic champion, world champion and World Cup winner Edgar Grospiron's record."
Second place - and the second podium of his World Cup career - went to French skier Benjamin Cavet, while Ikuma Horishima (JPN), who only just turned 18 on Friday, stole the third spot from last year's Ruka winner Philippe Marquis (CAN) for his first career podium.
On the ladies side it was a different feeling to start the season, with the absence retired queen of moguls, Hannah Kearney (USA). It was expected that in the absence of Kearney, one of Justine, Chloe, or Maxime of the Dufour-Lapointe (CAN) sisters fame would step up in Rukar.
However, it was Mikaela Matthews (USA) who held it together through the tough head-to-head dual moguls format and started the season off strong for the US squad.
"I was just looking for a top 16 rank coming into the season and I'm absolutely in heaven given that this is my first win ever here in Ruka," said Matthews after her best career’s performance.
Matthews handily bested Regina Rakhimova (RUS) by a score of 23 to 12 in the final, though Rakhimova left the competition thrilled herself, having finally scored her first career podium in her 64th World Cup competition.
Chloe Dufour-Lapointe ensured that the Canadian ladies were not shut out of the podium, taking on and defeating Norway's Hedwig Wessel in the small final to take third place.
The Moguls World Cup continues in the New Year with both single and dual moguls competitions scheduled to take place in Lake Placid (USA) on 13-14 January.