Mikael Kingsbury fights off food poisoning for 51st World Cup victory
Canada's Chloe Dufour-Lapointe finishes 5th on women's side
Canadian freestyle skier Mikael Kingsbury shrugged off food poisoning enroute to his 51st career World Cup victory on Saturday with a gold medal in moguls in Thaiwoo, China.
Kingsbury, from Deux-Montagnes, Que., won with a final-run score of 90.31, his fifth-straight victory in China.
Ikuma Horishima of Japan was second with 87.68 and Kazakhstan's Dimitriy Reikherd was third with 86.92.
Watch highlights from Kingsbury's golden run:
"It was a very tough day for me," said Kingsbury, who earned his fifth-straight victory in as many starts in Thaiwoo since 2016. "Yesterday I got very sick and I was not feeling very well. Today I woke up with a little bit of energy, just enough to come and ski.
"I did a few mistakes in the first final round, but I learnt from those mistakes and I was able to put my best run and I managed to get my fifth win here at Thaiwoo."
Felt like sh*t for the past 24h🤮 lost 6 pounds.. but managed to keep my energy for the right moment! 🥇 at the World Cup in Thaiwoo, China 🇨🇳 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WhatADay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WhatADay</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Gold?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Gold</a> <a href="https://t.co/N9kDGtu9dj">pic.twitter.com/N9kDGtu9dj</a>—@MikaelKingsbury
This is the third time the Canadian freestyle skiing team has competed in World Cup competitions at this venue, where several competitions will be held in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
"I don't know what it is about this place," said Kingsbury. "It appears to be a run that suits me well. There's also the fact that the level of competition here is high, as it is elsewhere. Skiers like Dmitriy [Reikherd], Ikuma [Horishima] and Ben [Benjamin Cavet of France, who finished fourth on Saturday] push me to do my best."
Kingsbury, who lost six pounds of body weight due to the illness, is coming off a Lou Marsh Trophy win as Canada's top athlete for his incredible 2018 season.
After getting the top score in qualifications, Kingsbury settled for second place behind Horishima after the first run of the finals, but bounced back in the end to capture the gold.
The 26-year-old won his first Olympic gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February, along with two Crystal Globes for finishing first in moguls and tops among all freestyle skiers on the 2017-18 World Cup tour.
Dufour-Lapointe top Canadian woman
The win marked Kingsbury's 75th medal on the FIS circuit. He already owns the record for most career wins.
The other Canadian skier in the men's finals, Brenden Kelly, finished 10th.
On the women's side, the event was won by American Jaelin Kauf with a score of 83.08, while Chloe Dufour-Lapointe was the top Canadian with a fifth-place finish (72.79).
Dufour-Lapointe's showing stands as her best single moguls result since finishing fifth at the World Cup in Tazawako, Japan in February 2017.
With files from The Canadian Press