Aussies sweep moguls gold in Calgary, streak ends for Canada’s Kingsbury

Aussies sweep moguls gold in Calgary

CALGARY — Australia broke up Canada’s traditional dominance of World Cup moguls in Calgary.

Matt Graham and Britteny Cox won men’s and women’s gold respectively for an Aussie sweep Saturday.

Mikael Kingsbury’s run of consecutive gold in Calgary ended at six. The Canadian finished second to Graham in the men’s event.

“He’s a machine,” Graham said of Kingsbury. “He’s a really good athlete and a really good friend of mine, so it’s nice to kind of take it to him every once in a while and let everyone know he’s only human.”

Montreal sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe were second and third respectively behind Cox, who claimed her third victory in four events to start this season.

Calgary has been an annual stop on the World Cup moguls circuit since 2010. With two silver and a bronze, the host team was shut out of gold for the first time in eight years Saturday.

Canadians raked in five of a possible six medals, including both gold, in 2016. The Australians served notice they intend to be in the medal mix at the Winter Olympics just over a year from now.

“It was Australia Day two days ago so I guess we kind of got that extra motivation,” Cox said.

Kingsbury had mixed feelings about the end of his golden run in Calgary.

“The streak ends at six, but still another podium,” said the 24-year-old from Deux-Montagnes, Que.

“Every year I come back here, there’s always a little bit more pressure every time, so it’s kind of good and not good to get that out of the way.”

“When you have a streak it’s kind of cool because it keeps you focused every time, but at the same time, you have more pressure than anyone else or you put on your own pressure.”

The two-time world champion and winner of five World Cup overall titles retained the yellow bib as the season’s overall leader.

Cox built a healthy points lead on Justine Dufour-Lapointe at No. 2 in the women’s overall standings.

Kingsbury didn’t solidly land his second jump, which is a cork 1080, in either the 16-man final or the six-man super final. Those mistakes cost him points and speed.

“It’s not as clean as I usually do them,” he said. “I didn’t do my best bottom airs, but I landed them so I’m happy. Even if I miss it, I know I can land on my feet and that’s a good thing.

“Matt skied amazing and he totally deserved that win. I know he’s going to be on my ass all year and it’s going to be fun.”

Kingsbury scored 83.90 points behind Graham’s 85.34. Benjamin Cavet of France was third with 82.89 points.

Cox won with a score of 82.11 ahead of Justine Dufour-Lapointe at 80.02 and sister Chloe with 75.19.

“I have no regrets today,” Justin said. “I pushed every single run I had to do today.

“We’re both on the podium. That’s not so bad.”

Justine and Chloe were the gold and silver medallists respectively at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Chloe was the fastest woman down the pitch in Saturday’s super final, but didn’t score as high with the judges as Cox or her sibling.

“I was on the edge in this run, but it’s good to go out of your comfort zone,” Chloe said. “You need to practise it not only in training but as well in competition and that’s what I did today.”

Philippe Marquis of Quebec City finished sixth among men.

After finishing second last week in Val Saint-Come, Que., Andi Naude of Penticton, B.C., didn’t have a strong first of two jumps in morning qualifying. She missed the cut in 19th.

The Canadian moguls team heads to Deer Valley, Utah, for the next World Cup starting Wednesday. An Olympic test event follows on Feb. 11 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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