Canadian Jennifer Heil wins freestyle gold
Olympic champion Jennifer Heil of Spruce Grove, Alta., won the gold medal Saturday night in women's dual moguls in Utah to conclude this weekend's World Cup stop in freestyle skiing.
It was Heil's first victory this season and third medal in four World Cup events. She missed all of last season with a knee injury.
In Saturday's final, she defeated Hannah Kearney of the U.S. Nikola Sudova of the Czech Republic won the bronze dual over Elizabeth Outtrim of the U.S.
The win was exactly what Heil needed after experiencing what she described as the worst crash of her career en route to a 16th-place finish in Thursday's individual moguls event.
"This was a great way to bounce back from a crash that had left me pretty shaken up and sore," said Heil, 25, also first in qualifying. "My goal today was come out and enjoy my skiing and be 100 per cent focused on my technique.
"With the great crowd here and the wonderful conditions it was easy for me to get immersed into that and not be hesitant during my runs."
Maxime Dufour-Lapointe and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, both of Montreal, as well as Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City, cracked the top-16 in qualifying and were all eliminated in the first round of duals. They ranked 13th to 15th respectively.
Kearney leads the World Cup moguls standings with 340 points followed by Heil at 275 after four of 10 races.
In men's dual moguls, Guilbaut Colas of France completed a golden sweep here with the win over David Babic of the U.S., in the final. Colas also won the individual moguls on Thursday.
Alexandre Smyshlyaev of Russia defeated Alexandre Bilodeau of Rosemere, Que., in the bronze-medal dual.
Bilodeau, 21, was knocked off the podium for the first time this season in four events. He had won three silver medals including one in Thursday's individual moguls event here.
"I lost my last two duals on the day but overall I'm pretty satisfied," Bilodeau said. "In my last dual I lost some control and my legs gave out on me a bit.
"Still, it's another strong result. I'm showing a lot of consistency this season and I'm confident."
Vincent Marquis of Quebec City was eliminated in the semifinals for eighth overall and Maxime Gingras of St-Hippolyte, Que., was eliminated in the first round for 13th.
Bilodeau remains atop the men's moguls World Cup standings with 290 points, followed by Colas at 249.
The next stop on the World Cup circuit is Feb. 6-7 at the Olympic venue at Cypress Mountain, B.C.