Freestyle skiing | Mikaël Kingsbury wins gold, but sees the crystal globe slip away from him

Decorated with gold in Kazakhstan, Mikaël Kingsbury did everything in his power to win the crystal globe in singles on Friday, but the Japanese Ikuma Horishima defended himself well. By finishing second in the Almaty World Cup, he accumulated enough points to remain at the top of the general ranking, just ahead of the “King of Moguls”.

At the start of the day, Kingsbury was 30 points behind his Japanese rival in the general classification of the individual event. Even if he signed the 88e victory of his career on Friday, he needed to see Horishima finish third, at best, to get his hands on a 25e crystal globe.

The clash between Mikaël Kingsbury and Ikuma Horishima was very close in Almaty. In fact, the two competitors “were skiing in a class of their own” since the start of the week in training, according to the Quebecer.

Penultimate to start in the super final, he scored 84.89 points to take the lead. The gold medal as well as the crystal globe would therefore be decided on the following descent, as the athlete from Deux-Montagnes hoped.

I managed to place the scenario that I had put in my head. Statistically speaking, it’s always better to start last, but I wanted him to qualify first to start before him and put pressure on him.

Mikaël Kingsbury

All eyes were on Horishima, who ultimately earned 83.48 points. By winning the silver medal, the Japanese obtained 80 points in the World Cup rankings and brought his total to 610 points. His lead, now 10 points over the Quebecer, held up and earned him the first crystal globe of his career. Everything, at its 100e departure in the circuit.

“I managed what I could manage, controlled what I could control,” Kingsbury said. I made a good descent which put pressure on the top and he responded really well. It’s to his credit that he kept his head and went for the money. »

“I knew it was going to be really difficult. Ikuma skied to win, but above all to be sure not to make mistakes. »

Australian Matt Graham took third place on the podium with 80.81 points. The Swede Filip Gravenfors, fourth of the day, finished third in the general ranking in singles.

A heartbreaking ending

Kingsbury finished the singles season with seven medals in eight events, four gold and three bronze. His only misstep came at home, at the World Cup in Val Saint-Côme, when a fall relegated him to 13e step.

Ikuma Horishima has three gold medals, two silvers and one bronze. It was by winning the stage in Quebec that he won the yellow bib.

“As for today (Friday), I’m really satisfied. It is bitter sweet a bit when we look at the results for the year. I shot myself in the foot at Val Saint-Côme, but if they place me second at Waterville, it’s me who has the globe,” said Kingsbury, referring to his controversial third place at the end of January.

That’s sport, that’s the beauty of it, but sometimes it’s a bit heartbreaking.

Mikaël Kingsbury

For his part, Julien Viel reached the first final on Friday and took 11e rank. Elliot Vaillancourt also qualified, but was unable to complete his second descent. He found himself at 16e rank in the final ranking. Gabriel Dufresne finished 22e.

In the general classification, Vaillancourt and Viel occupy fifth and eighth places respectively. Louis-David Chalifoux finishes 14ewhile Dufresne is in 26e place.

Laurianne Desmarais-Gilbert ranked 18e in the women’s event won by the Australian Jakara Anthony, ahead of the Americans Alli Macuga and Hannah Soar.

With a seventh victory in eight outings this season, Anthony won the crystal globe of the discipline. Desmarais-Gilbert is located at 19e rank.

The Almaty World Cup will resume on Saturday with the presentation of the moguls in parallel. Two crystal globes are still in the sights of Mikaël Kingsbury, at the top of the rankings of the duels and the cumulative rankings of the two events. The race will continue until the World Cup in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy, on March 16.

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