Anthony repeats, Kingsbury back on top in Alpe d’Huez



© Mateusz Kielpinski

Ahugely successful three-day showcase of the best of freestyle skiing wrapped up on Saturday in Alpe d’Huez, where dual moguls competition closed out a couple of beautiful days of moguls action in France in spectacular fashion. There Jakara Anthony (AUS) repeated her performance from Friday and grabbed another victory in women’s competition, while Mikael Kingsbury went all-out for top spot on the men’s side.

After finishing in top-3 in each of the previous competitions before coming to France, Anthony first  claimed the top spot in single moguls on Friday, just to back it up with her second victory in two days in Saturday’s dual moguls.

While it was a crash-filled day of competition as the world’s best moguls skiers pushed their limits on a challenging course in Alpe d’Huez, Anthony remained calm, cool and in control throughout the day, keeping her turns tidy, her speed up and her wits about her as others struggled.

In the big final Anthony matched up against the 2021 dual moguls World Champion Anastasiia Smirnova (RUS), who somehow struggled so far in 2021/22 campaign after wrapping up last season with two medals in Almaty (KAZ). On Friday, however, also Smirnova was keeping her tips pointed down, acing the middle section and launching stylish backflips mute grabs off the bottom air.

It was a tight big final on the women’s side with both Smirnova and Anthony putting down flawless runs, but in the end it was Anthony who won this matchup by a single point (18 to 17), thus claiming her second victory in two days.

Smirnova finished the competition in second place for her best result so far in the season, while Kai Owens (USA) rounded out the women’s podium in third place, after edging out her teammate Jaelin Kauf in the small final.

With the victory on Saturday, Anthony also moved atop the dual moguls standing, while pushing Perrine Laffont (FRA) down to second place. Laffont decided not to compete on Saturday, following her heavy crash in single moguls the day before. Heading into holidays break, Anthony is now leading the way in moguls, dual moguls and overall moguls rankings.

Things were quite interesting also on the men’s side with plenty of tight and interesting clashes going down throughout the day. Also here, a lot of guys just kept pushing their limits, which resulted in some spectacular crashes that fortunately didn’t cause any serious injury.

At the end of the day it was Mikael Kingsbury, who managed to redeem himself after third place finish in single moguls yesterday. On Saturday Kingsbury was once again on a mission, besting the likes of Olli Penttala (FIN), Bradley Wilson (USA) and Cole McDonald (USA) on his way to big final.

In the big final Kingsbury matched up against Walter Wallberg (SWE), but right after a couple of turns in the top section, the Swedish rider had some difficulties in keeping his balance and missed the first jump, leaving Kingsbury with a relatively easy mission of bringing the win down to the finish line.

It was the second dual moguls win for Kingsbury in 2021/22 and also his career’s 68th victory. With 200 points after Saturday’s event Kingsbury increased his lead in dual moguls ranking to 60 points over Ikuma Horishima (JPN, who finished third on the day, after coming victorious against Cole McDonald in the small final.

In the overall moguls World Cup ranking it’s still Horishima who leads the way ahead of Kingsbury and Pavel Kolmakov.

The FIS Freestyle Ski Moguls World Cup will now go into holidays break, with the next event scheduled to take place in Tremblant (CAN) on January 7-8, 2022.

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