Kings­bury keeps up hot streak, earns fourth gold of sea­son

The Globe and Mail (Ottawa/Quebec Edition) - - REPORT ON BUSINESS - DONNA SPENCER CAL­GARY

Mikaël Kings­bury didn’t need to take big risks to win World Cup gold Satur­day.

A ma­jor mis­take on the Cal­gary course by ri­val Ben­jamin Cavet of France took some pres­sure off Canada’s moguls king be­fore his fi­nal run of the day.

But Kings­bury still needed to ski clean and fast, and ex­e­cute his tricks on a steep pitch of soft snow, and un­der flat light be­cause of cloudy skies.

The reign­ing Olympic cham­pion from Deux-Mon­tagnes, Que., con­tin­ued his dom­i­nance of men’s moguls win­ning his fourth World Cup gold in three events this sea­son.

Kings­bury won both moguls and dual moguls at a World Cup in China last month.

He posted a win­ning score of 84.17 in Satur­day’s six-man su­per­fi­nal ahead of run­ner-up Wal­ter Wall­berg of Swe­den with 80.98. Daichi Hara of Ja­pan took bronze with 78.14.

“They made it eas­ier for me, but at the same time you still have to put down the run,” Kings­bury said. “I’m pretty stoked the way I han­dled the pres­sure out there.

“There was not pres­sure for do­ing the best run of my life, but pres­sure to put it down at the right mo­ment.”

Cavet was the sec­ond-last man down the course at WinS­port’s Canada Olympic Park. When a slip at the top took the French­man out of con­tention, Kings­bury made quick cal­cu­la­tions.

“[If he would have] scored 84 or 85, I know I have to push a bit more and maybe go big­ger on my tricks,” Kings­bury said. “I was ready for that and was able to do it in train­ing.

“I was con­fi­dent to be able to do that run, but when I heard he was out [of con­tention], and Wal­ter was lead­ing with 80 points … I’m not go­ing to take stupid risks.”

Kings­bury’s World Cup vic­tory was the 53rd of his ca­reer and his eighth in Cal­gary. The 26-year-old wears the yel­low bib as the sea­son’s over­all leader.

He’s on pace to claim the crys­tal globe as the sea­son cham­pion for an eighth straight year.

“It’s al­ways good for me to start the sea­son very well, cre­ate mo­men­tum, cre­ate a good lead in the stand­ings, which is amaz­ing,” Kings­bury said.

The top 16 in qual­i­fy­ing ad­vanced to the fi­nal, from which the top six gained en­try to the su­per­fi­nal. Lau­rent Du­mais of Que­bec City fin­ished 10th.

Yu­lia Galy­sheva of Kaza­khstan won women’s gold Satur­day with 79.10 points. Reign­ing Olympic cham­pion Per­rine Laf­font of France was the sil­ver medal­ist with 77.96 points.

Jaelin Kauf of the United States earned bronze with 76.10. Mon­treal’s Jus­tine Dufour-La­pointe place fifth.

The 2014 Olympic cham­pion has been deal­ing with a right shoul­der in­jury she suf­fered last month in China.

“It was re­ally men­tally dif­fi­cult in train­ing those first two days, but I think to­day I just put that aside, all that pain and that stress and scary thoughts, and re­ally skied to be proud of my­self that I re­ally gave it all,” the 24-year-old said.

Her sis­ter Chloé placed eighth. Saska­toon’s Maia Sch­wing­ham­mer fin­ished 11th in her World Cup de­but and Sofi­ane Gagnon of Whistler, B.C., was 13th.

Lake Placid, N.Y., is the next stop on the World Cup cir­cuit Fri­day and Satur­day, fol­lowed by an­other on Cana­dian snow Jan. 26 in Mont-Trem­blant, Que.

The world freestyle ski cham­pi­onship fol­lows Feb. 1-10 in Deer Val­ley, Utah.

JEFF MCIN­TOSH/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Mikaël Kings­bury com­petes in the men’s World Cup freestyle moguls event in Cal­gary on Satur­day. He posted a win­ning score of 84.17.

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