March 8, 2009, Inawashiro, Japan – The Canadian team finished on a triumphant note at the FIS Freestyle World Championships Sunday.
Alex Bilodeau, 21, of Rosemère, Que., bounced back from a disappointing eighth place in Saturday’s single moguls final to capture the gold medal in men’s dual moguls.
It was the ninth medal of the World Championships for Canada.
“Being world champion is great,” said Bilodeau, who has also won the last four events on the World Cup circuit and the coveted crystal globe as men’s overall moguls leader on the tour.
“It’s something I’ve looked forward to since I was a little boy. It’s a dream come true.”
The victory came despite facing the same soft, slushy snow conditions that frustrated him the day before.
“I was really disappointed with what I did (Saturday),” admitted Bilodeau after his win.
But he rebounded to win his first medal in international competition on the international circuit’s most difficult course.
“It’s my first time on the podium here in Japan, so it’s really nice to break that curse. I can’t describe the feeling,” said Bilodeau.
He won the qualification round and his opening dual with Vinjar Slatten of Norway. Bilodeau had a close call in his second of four duals, but defeated Yugo Tsukita of Japan 18-17.
He then won his semi-final over Quebec City team-mate Vincent Marquis, who was the bronze medallist in single moguls.
Then, in the gold-medal dual, Bilodeau handily defeated Nobuyuki Nishi of Japan, 26-9, leaving Nishi with the silver.
Losing the bronze-medal dual against Tapio Luusua of Finland put Marquis fourth.
“I wish I had been on the podium again, but I fought a lot,” said Marquis. “I was missing my legs a little at the end. It’s a tough course and five runs in a day is a big challenge, but I’m very proud of the way I skied.”
The other Canadian finalists were Maxime Gingras of St-Hippolyte, Que., in 11th and Philippe Marquis of Quebec City in 12th.
Jenn Heil of Spruce Grove, Alta., was the top Canadian woman in women’s dual moguls, but not with the result she wanted.
The two-time defending dual moguls world champion was eliminated in her first dual of the round of 16, against Jung-Hwa Seo of Korea.
She fell after her first air but rebounded and actually caught up and passed the South Korean, but Heil still lost the dual on points.
Heil, who won the world dual moguls title in 2007 and 2005, was perplexed after seeing the replay of the dual, which shows one of her skis caught in the slushy snow on the take-off of her first jump, a 360, or helicopter.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” said the Albertan, who now lives in Montreal. Her final placing was 10th.
“I really love competing at the World Championships and I wanted to work on my speed.
“The goal was to be more aggressive and get more speed. Looking back at the video, it was my best take-off of the week for a 360,” said Heil, who captured a silver medal in Saturday’s single moguls final.
Nathalie Bazin of Quebec City and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal also qualified for Sunday’s dual moguls final of 16. Bazin placed 12th and Dufour-Lapointe 15th.
Based on qualifying-round results, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal was 18th and Jackie Brown of Cambridge, Ont. was 25th.
But the day belonged to Japan. The country won three medals in dual moguls and had six skiers in the finals, showing the depth of the mogul team here. In addition to Nishi’s silver in the men’s final, two Japanese women were on the podium today; Aiko Uemura won gold for her second victory in as many days, while Miki Ito was a surprising second. Hannah Kearney of the U.S. was third after defeating 1998 Olympic champion Tae Satoya of Japan in the bronze-medal dual.
Watch pre- and post-competition features, interviews and highlights at http://www.freestyleski.com/videos/index.htm.
Pour plus de renseignements ou pour fixer des entrevues suite à l’événement, veuillez communiquer avec Kelley Korbin, directrice des relations avec les médias de l’ACSA à : Kelley Korbin.
– 30 –
Au sujet de l’Association canadienne de ski acrobatique
L’Association canadienne de ski acrobatique (ACSA) est l’organisme qui régit le sport du ski acrobatique au Canada. Avec le soutien de ses précieux partenaires corporatifs, notamment Columbia, ainsi que du gouvernement du Canada, du comité olympique canadien et du programme À nous le Podium, l’ACSA forme des champions olympiques et des champions du monde dans toutes les disciplines du ski acrobatique.
Pour plus de renseignements sur l’ACSA, visitez-nous en ligne au www.freestyleski.com.
Pour accéder à des photos en haute résolution pour fins éditoriales, veuillez faire parvenir une demande à : firstname.lastname@example.org.