Freestyle domination continues 

Alexandre Bilodeau takes gold once again

Canada's domination in the sport of moguls continued last weekend with Canadian men and women once again taking two out of the top three spots in the dual slalom at Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic.

Olympic champion Alexandre Bilodeau took the gold medal once again - his second gold and sixth medal this season, after a slow start. He edged out rookie and teammate Mikael Kingsbury in the final dual for the second race in a row.

It was Kingsbury's eighth World Cup or World Championship medal this season, and Kingsbury is closing in on French skier Guilbaut Colas for the overall moguls title - while Bilodeau is closing in on him.

"This is a challenging course because it's short, and while it starts out fairly steep it quickly goes to about 10 degrees," said Bilodeau. "It's hard to gain time on such a short course and you have to keep your run really clean because any small mistake will cost you. With (Kingsbury) and me it was really tight because neither of us made any mistakes."

Jeremy Cota of the U.S. picked up the bronze after winning his final duel against Nobuyuki Nishi of Japan. Cedric Rochon was 11th for Canada.

The Canadian women didn't take the gold medal, with Hannah Kearney of the U.S. building on her incredible season, Jenn Heil picked up the silver and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe the bronze. Audrey Robichaud and Justine Dufour-Lapointe were fourth and sixth respectively.

"I was in complete control for most of the run and was a little ahead of (Kearney), but I landed deeply on my second jump and that hurt me," said Heil. "That's a risk you take when you don't hold back."

In the aerials final the previous week at Minsk-Raubichi, Belarus the win went to hometown hero Anton Kushnir, followed by Stanislav Kravchuk of Ukraine and Denis Osipau, also from Belarus. Warren Shouldice had a disappointing day after slapping his back on the ground on his second air to place ninth.

"I had a great first jump today, but I missed my takeoff on my second jump, probably because I subconsciously felt too fast," said Shouldice. "Sure, I'm disappointed with today's event, but overall this has been a dream season for me. My goal was to win Worlds and I achieved that. Plus, the second most important event for me was the Calgary World Cup (and) to win at home was amazing."

Travis Gerrits, who placed sixth at Worlds, took home FIS's Aerials Rookie of the Year Award for this season.

On the women's side, China's Shuang Cheng and Fanyu Kong were first and third, with Ashley Caldwell of the U.S. in second. Sabrina Guerin was the top Canadian in fifth place, matching her personal best.


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