Mikael Kingsbury remains undefeated on the FIS World Cup mogul circuit after a convincing win at the Canada Post Grand Prix here today. His teammate Justine Dufour-Lapointe earned her second silver medal of the season at the same event.
Under blue skies and freezing -20 degree temperatures, the 19-year-old Kingsbury maintained his lightening speed, smooth turns and soaring jumps run after run on the 25-degree course.
The Deux-Montagnes, Que. native beat Jeremy Cota of the US in the final. Russia’s Sergey Volkov surpassed American Sho Kashima for the bronze.
Kingsbury’s win solidifies his grip on the FIS yellow leader’s bib with a 110-point lead over Sho Kashima of the US.
“When you touch the yellow bib you want to keep it,” said Kingsbury, “So now that I have it I don’t plan to let it go.”
Other Canadians who advanced to the 16-man finals today included team veteran Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau from Drummondville, Que. who finished eighth; rookie Simon Lemieux from Repentigny, Que. was an impressive 12th in his first FIS World Cup start. Marc-Antoine Gagnon of Terrebonne, Que. was 13th; and Cedric Rochon of St. Sauveur, Que. was 15th.
Canadian men who didn’t make finals included Langley, B.C.’s Eddie Hicks who was 19th, Olympic Champion Alex Bilodeau from Rosemere, Que. who fell after his second jump and landed in 39th; and, Philippe Marquis of Quebec City who was 41st. Montreal’s P-O Gagne did not finish.
In women’s head-to-head action Justine Dufour-Lapointe went head-to-head with Olympic Champion Hannah Kearney of the US in the final dual of the day. Kearney edged Dufour-Lapointe for the gold after the 17-year-old Montreal-native made a mistake just above the second jump.
“Justine really pushed me today, she’s a great skier and she was right there with me today,” said Kearney.
For her part Dufour-Lapointe said, “I’m really happy to win the silver. I did my best and skied really fast. My last dual was really fun, I managed to push Hannah — now she knows I’m here.”
Spruce Grove, Alberta’s Chelsea Henitiuk went against Ekaterina Stolyarova of Russia in the women’s small final. Stolyarova took the bronze, but Henitiuk was thrilled with her best ever FIS World Cup finish.
“I’m kind of in shock right now,” said a grinning Henitiuk, “I typically don’t do well on this course, so I had nothing to lose. So, I just pushed my limits and it paid off.” Canadian coaches said that Henitiuk’s performance here was a breakthrough for the 23-year old.