Canadians take over the podium at moguls World Cup
Mikaël Kingsbury and Justine Dufour-Lapointe lead overall standings
Team Canada's moguls athletes won half the podium positions at the World Cup in Tazawako, Japan, the first of two World Cup events in the country this weekend.
Mikaël Kingsbury made his fourth podium appearance while Chloe Dufour-Lapointe narrowed the standings gap between her and her sister.
Kingsbury in close race for gold
Defending champion Kingsbury led the field after qualification but narrowly missed out on gold to American skier Bradley Wilson. The 23-year-old from Deux-Montagnes, Que., won silver with a score of 86.09 to Wilson's 86.14.
Kingsbury has made the podium four out of five World Cup events this season.
"I'm pretty pleased with how all my runs went and with the fact that I was first coming out of qualifications," said Kingsbury. "I think I could have done a little more in the finals to win the competition.
"Overall the day was really good and I look forward to another chance at winning a World Cup tomorrow when I can come back and defend my dual moguls title from last year."
Philippe Marquis from Quebec City was the only other male Canadian in the final. He scored 82.18, putting him in fifth place. Australia's Matt Graham finished third with a score of 83.05.
Chloe Dufour-Lapointe continues climbing
Two Canadian women made the podium in the ladies event.
A score of 78.06 won Montreal's Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, 24, silver while Audrey Robichaud from Quebec City claimed bronze with a score of 77.83.
France's Perrine Laffont finished first with 78.91 points, winning her first career World Cup.
Robichaud's score duplicated her final ranking from the Tazawako World Cup from 2015.
"Today the race went really well and I skied really well. I'm happy with my jumping and how I picked up speed in the bumps," said Robichaud."The course wasn't easy, but we had a lot of fun skiing today. I'm really happy making it to the podium once again in Japan and I hope I can do it again tomorrow."
A total of five Canadian women made it through qualifications: Andi Naude, Penicton, B.C., finished fifth, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe, Montreal, Que., finished seventh, while her sister Justine Dufour-Lapointe finished 15th.
Canada's World Cup rankings
Chloe is narrowing the World Cup standings gap. After the first World Cup of the weekend, she is ranked second with 389 points, not far off from sister Justine who is first with 420. Maxime, Naude, and Robichaud are all in the top ten, ranked sixth, seventh and ninth respectively.
After this World Cup, Kingsbury continues to sit comfortably at the top of the men's standings. His 505 points are 159 ahead of second ranked Graham. Marquis is ranked third with 252 points.
Athletes have another shot at the podium tomorrow in the dual moguls World Cup, also held in Tazawako.
With files from Canadian Freestyle Ski Association