Richards (CAN) and Bjoernlund (SWE) best in opening of moguls World Cup

14 December 2009 13:02

Suomu, Northern Finland hosted the opening of the 2009/10 FIS Freestyle World Cup season with back-to-back mogul events. All major FIS World Cup disciplines have now seen their Olympic season get underway.

Canada's Kristi Richards and Sweden's Jesper Bjoernlund won the first ladies' and men's moguls competitions at Suomu, respectively.

Kristi Richards was all smiles after winning the inaugural FIS Mogul World Cup in Suomu, Finland. In women's moguls, Richards earned her second career World Cup victory after posting the second fastest time and the highest style points. Aiko Uemura of Japan was second and Hannah Kearney of the U.S. third.

"I'm so excited, I can't ask for anything more than to start the season like this," said Richards, 28, the 2007 world champion. "I feel like the last four years of work are coming together at the right time. I just went for it today in the final and didn't hold anything back."

In men's moguls, Jesper Bjoernlund of Sweden won ahead of Bryon Wilson of the U.S. and Alexandre Bilodeau (CAN) in third.

"It's very encouraging to start the season with a strong result,'' said Bilodeau, 22, last season's World Cup champion with five victories on the 2008-2009 circuit. "It was very close between the top-five guys and I know that I made some mistakes that left the door open for the others. The course wasn't technically difficult so you really had to look good out there, ski fast and not make any mistakes.''

Competition continues on Saturday with another men's and women's moguls competition.During the coming weekend the Freestyle aerials season will begin in Changchun (CHN) with two individual events and a test-style mixed team event, while the first World Cup in ski cross will take place in Innichen / San Candido (ITA) on 21st-22nd December.