Road To The Olympic Games

Freestyle Skiing

Mikael Kingsbury golden in 100th World Cup moguls appearance

Canada's Mikael Kingsbury ​​​​​​​opened the 2019-20 season in style, capturing his 57th gold medal in his 100th World Cup appearance on Saturday in Ruka, Finland.

Reigning Olympic champion eyes 10th straight Crystal Globe trophy

Canada's Mikael Kingsbury won moguls gold in the World Cup season opener on Saturday in Ruka, Finland. (Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom/Getty Images/File)
Reigning Olympic moguls champion Mikael Kingsbury opened the 2019-20 season in style, capturing his 57th gold medal in his 100th World Cup appearance on Saturday in Ruka, Finland.

The 27-year-old skier from Deux-Montagnes, Que., scored 90.80 on his second to secure top spot.

"The jumps were pretty good here, it would have been possible to do maybe one or two new tricks but since it's the beginning of the season, I really wanted to start well," Kingsbury said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. "I just went with something I've done in the past that's worked out for me — I call it my classic run — and I still had the hardest trick package of the day.

"And now that I have the momentum, I won the first event and I know there's going to be a lot of opportunities to try new tricks."

Ikuma Horishima of Japan was second with 87.39 while Sweden's Walter Wallberg placed third with 86.83. Canada's Kerrian Chunlaud was sixth.

WATCH | Mikael Kingsbury finishes atop podium to start season: 

Kingsbury wins gold in his 100th-career World Cup

Sports

1 year ago
1:17
Canadian Mikael Kingsbury won the moguls' season opener in Finland with a score of 90.8. 1:17
 

Kingsbury, who has won eight straight Crystal Globes as the overall leader at the end of the moguls season, was in second place after the first run Saturday — 0.46 points behind Wallbert — but rebounded by putting down a solid second score.

"I try to learn from every run," Kingsbury said. "I did some tiny little bobble in the middle but my time was good and I knew I had a lot of gas left in the tank to ski faster.

"I was pretty close to Walter. … and I knew I had another gear to push and get above 87 (points) but I needed to be perfect because the guys weren't making many mistakes today."

WATCH | Kingsbury: 'To be able to win again is fantastic'

Mikael Kingsbury on Ruka, Finland: 'This place has been so special'

Sports

1 year ago
0:49
The Canadian discussed winning gold in his 100th-career World Cup start. 0:49

Kingsbury was first in qualification, laying down a score of 84.44, to set the tone for the day.

He also has four world championship titles and an Olympic silver to go along with his gold from Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.

Kingsbury put together a streak of 13 consecutive World Cup victories that spanned nearly a calendar year from 2017-18.

WATCH | Bumpy time for athletes in Finland:

Crashes and falls from moguls event in Finland

Sports

1 year ago
0:27
It was a very bumpy ride for some competitors at the World Cup event In Ruka. 0:27

"Before, my motivation was to win gold at the Olympics, that's why I trained every day," he said. "Now it's different but I'm still super motivated. I think it's just a different type of motivation.

"I'm not really trying to push the record [for World Cup wins] as far as I can and I don't really think about the stats when I'm skiing. The goal for me is not just winning, winning, winning — I'm trying to reach my full potential because I don't think I'm there yet."

The first moguls athlete to cleanly land a cork 1440 in a World Cup last year, Kingsbury spent most of his off-season working on new tricks he hopes with further push the boundaries of the sport.

Canadian Justine Dufour-Lapointe was sixth on the women's side.

With files from The Canadian Press

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