The moguls World Cup gets back on track with a double competition in Tazawako

02 March 2018 14:41
Tazawako moguls World Cup
Tazawako moguls World Cup -
Local OC

Tazawako (JPN) - Hot off the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games experience, the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup gets back to action in Tazawako (JPN) with both single and dual moguls competition slated to take place this weekend, March 3-4.

The 2014/15 season was the first time that Tazawako hosted a FIS Freestyle World Cup event, with moguls and dual moguls competitions both taking to the resorts tough moguls course. With huge crowds on hand and dynamic and successful competitions in the previous years at the venue, we're excited to see what's in store for Tazawako in 2017/18.

This will be the seasons’s eight and ninth moguls competitions, with the Sunday’s event being the first dual moguls action on the World Cup circuit in 2017/2018.

With only four more competitions to go before the end of another intense season and doors still wide open for a handful of athletes to wrap up the FIS Freestyle Skiing moguls World Cup on a high note, it will be interesting to see who still has enough gas in the tank to make a final push for the crystal globe.

 

 


Kauf looking to stay on top of the ranking

In the ladies’ competition it’s Jaelin Kauf (USA) who sits on top of the World Cup ranking with 436 points, followed up by Andi Naude (CAN) with 385 points and the Olympic gold medallist from Korea, Perrine Laffont (FRA) who currently occupies third position with 382 points.

Kauf has been the most consistent rider this season, taking two wins as well as two second podium finishes on seven starts so far. And while she couldn’t quite prove her excellent form at the Games two weeks ago, where she finished on seventh spot, Kauf will be looking to follow the steps of the moguls legend Hannah Kearney to keep her top spot to give the US Freestyle team its first moguls crystal globe since 2015.

Keeping in mind Kauf’s consistency as well as the fact that she won the dual moguls event in Tazawako last season she is certainly one of the main favourites for the win in Japan also this year.

Her task won’t be easy though, with more than six athletes still with real chances to upset the American skier in the globe race, including the previously-mentioned Naude and Laffont, as well as the last year’s World Cup winner Britteny Cox (AUS) and the freshly awarded silver and bronze Olympic medallists, respectively, Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN) and Yulia Galysheva (KAZ).

All-in-all the race for the ladies’ moguls crystal globe is a probably one of the most interesting ones in recent history, and while the Tazawako competitions might provide some insight after the weekend, seeing the current trend it seems more likely that the battle might get even tighter as we move towards the last competition of the season in Megeve (FRA).

 

 

 

Kingsbury a favorite to secure the crystal globe in Tazawako

Over on the men’s side the situation is definitely less complicated. After Mikael Kingsbury added his last missing piece of hardware to his impressive collection with his win in PyeongChang, it is not difficult to finally dub him the GOAT - greatest of all time.

The winningest men’s Freestyle skier of all time is cruising for his seventh-straight season of taking both the moguls and the overall FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup crystal globes. Currently sitting atop the rankings with 680 points, Kingsbury has a 250 point advantage over second-ranked Dmitriy Reikherd (KAZ) and his 420 points, with third-ranked Matt Graham (AUS) holding 304 points.

Kingsbury has only been off the top of the podium once this season, when he came in behind the Japanese sensation Ikuma Horishima in the final event before the Games at Canada’s Tremblant. That being said, Kingsbury now needs at least one, probably two more good results to absolutely secure his dominance on the World Cup circuit in 2017/2018. However, looking back at his performance on Japanese soil in the previous years, it seems very likely that the Canadian ripper will be leaving Tazawako with yet another globe assured.

Still, Kingsbury is only human, and a whole host of international athletes will be on hand looking to steal the win from him, including his biggest rivals Reikherd and Graham, as well as Jae Woo Choi (KOR), Bradley Wilson (USA), Ben Cavet (FRA) and Marc Antoine Gagnon (CAN).

Obviously the home crowd has also plenty of reasons to be excited for the upcoming weekend following some great showings by Japanese athletes at the Games in Korea, with the most notable of those being a highlight bronze medal performance by Daichi Hara (JPN). And, with the double World Champion Horishima and his always-thrilling compatriot Sho Endo having showcased some amazing skiing in Korea, the Japanese team has all kinds of podium potential in Tazawako.

Saturday’s competition will kick off with ladies’ qualifications at 9:55 local time followed by men’s qualifiers at 11:45. The finals are slated to take place at 13:30. The action on Sunday will get on going at 12:15 with the preliminary rounds and the dual moguls finals scheduled again for 13:30.

 

QUICK LINKS:

 

LIVE TV BROADCAST (FINALS)

SATURDAY

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SUNDAY

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