Utah 2019: Moguls preview
Mikael Kingsbury in action at Deer Valley

As the Utah 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle & Freeski World Championships head into the homestretch it will be all eyes on Deer Valley Resort’ Champion Run for back-to-back evenings of moguls and then dual moguls competitions, with single event taking place on Friday and duals wrapping up Utah 2019 competition at Deer Valley on Saturday.

One of the most storied slopes in all of freestyle skiing, Deer Valley’s Champion Run has been a highlight stop on the FIS Freestyle World Cup tour almost every year for the past 18 seasons. With 56 total moguls World Cup competitions, the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and two prior world championships all taking place at Deer Valley, the venue’s history is rich and deep. 

So it’s not for no reason that Deer Valley is also recognised as perhaps the best moguls course in the world, and the maker of champions. Every Olympic moguls winner in history has also claimed a win at Deer Valley, and the correspondence of these facts should not be seen as a coincidence. 

In the ladies’ event watch out for Perrine Laffont (FRA), who is entering the competition at Deer Valley leading the moguls World Cup standing. The reigning dual moguls World Champion from Sierra Nevada 2017 is coming straight off a big victory in the last World Cup event in Tremblant. While Laffont’s worst result in 2018/2019 was a third place finish in Thaiwoo back in December, it’s hard not consider the 20-year-old skier from Lavelanet as the main contender to take the win at the iconic Champion Run at Deer Valley.

Also count on Jakara Anthony (AUS), who is experiencing a breakout season this year. The Aussie skier scored her first World Cup podium in the single moguls event in Thaiwoo, just to grab her very first victory a couple weeks later in Lake Placid. Add to that her second place from Tremblant as well as a couple of top-5 finishes and the current World Cup runner-up will be looking to add her first world championships medal to her record this weekend.

Another athlete to keep an eye on is Jaelin Kauf (USA), the current number three in the World Cup standing. Kauf kicked off her season on a high with a double victory in China, but soon lost her yellow bib to Laffont, and recently dropped to third after the last event in Canada, where she finished in the fifth place. But Kauf is probably the fastest athlete on the ladies’ tour right now and while competing in front of a home crowd, she will pushing her limits to come back on top of the podium on the biggest stage of 2018/19 season.

Add to the mix the likes of Yulia Galysheva (KAZ), Tess Johnsons (USA), Dufour-Lapointe sisters Justine and Chloe (CAN) and the ladies’ single as well as dual moguls event are suddenly shaping up to be extremely exciting ones, with no certain favourite to lead the field at Deer Valley. 

Switching to the men’s event, once again it’s Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) who everyone will be looking to this weekend, as the most dominant athletes in freestyle skiing aims to redeem his unexpected and sort of disappointing performance from Sierra Nevada 2017, where he finished with only one bronze medal. 

But the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Champion has only lost once this season and he will certainly be looking to bring home two gold medals from the Utah 2019 World Champs. And while it’s impossible to say that Kingsbury will storm to victories on Friday and Saturday, what we can take for granted is the fact that he is definitely motivated to show who the king of moguls is here at Deer Valley. 

Also let’s not forget about Ikuma Horishima, as the Japanese ripper is the reigning double World Champion from Spain, and one of only two skiers, who was able to beat Kingsbury in the last two seasons. Horishima is coming off a second place finish in Tremblant and it looks like his form has just built up for the pinnacle event of the season. While it’s not going to be an easy task to upset Kingsbury yet once again, Horishima proved his a clutch athlete and he will be aiming to do his best in quest to defend his double world championships title.

Looking further down the starting list, also watch out for Benjamin Cavet (FRA), who is sitting second in the World Cup standing, as well as Walter Wallbeg (SWE) - number three on tour so far this season. Then also count on veterans like Matt Graham (AUS), Dmitriy Reikherd (KAZ), Daichi Hara (JPN) or Bradley Wilson (USA) and get ready for the hottest moguls action in 2018/2019 season straight from Deer Valley. 

 

Competition Programme

Friday, February 8

12:45 MST - Ladies’ Moguls Qualification

15:25 MST -  Men’s Moguls Qualification

19:00 MST - Ladies’ and Men Moguls Finals

Saturday, February 9

12:45 MST - Ladies’ Dual Moguls Qualification

15:50 MST -  Men’s Moguls Qualification

19:00 MST - Ladies’ and Men Moguls Finals

 

Watch live:

ORF Sport + (Austria), CT Sport (Czech Republic), areena.yle.fi (Finland), Silk Universal & Silk Sport HD1, HD2, HD3 (Georgia), BBC Red Button (Great Britain), Ziggo Sport (Netherlands),  Match TV (Russia), Web RTS (Switzerland), Olympic Channel (USA).

Live-streaming will be also available on FIS Freestyle Youtube Channel (geo-blocked in countries with exclusive media rights agreement).

 

2019 World Cup Leaders

Ladies: Perrine Laffont (FRA)

Men: Mikael Kingsbury (CAN)

2018 Olympic Champions

Ladies: Perrine Laffont (FRA)

Men: Mikael Kingsbury (CAN)

2017 World Champions

Moguls

Ladies: Britteny Cox (AUS)

Men: Ikuma Horishima (JPN)

Dual Moguls

Ladies: Perrine Laffont (FRA)

Men: Ikuma Horishima (JPN)


QUICK LINKS: