March 7, 2009 Inawashiro, Japan – True to form, the Canadian team maintained its pattern of two medals each event at the FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships.
Jenn Heil of Spruce Grove, Alta., produced a silver medal and Vincent Marquis of Quebec City collected a bronze in single moguls Saturday, to bring Canada’s total to eight medals so far.
Heil, 25, captured her fourth World Championship medal by placing second Saturday in the women’s final to Japanese star Aiko Uemura.
“It’s an extremely challenging hill, so I was happy with my performance and laying it down,” said Heil, now living in Montreal, Quebec.
“But there’s still a lot I can improve on and I’m looking forward to doing that,” added Heil, who Sunday defends her dual moguls title.
“I still know I have to get my speed to work. That is one of my strengths.”
Heil and the remainder of the field faced particularly challenging morning conditions in the qualifying round, with the course glazed in ice.
“There is a lot of satisfaction with being on the podium. I shoot for that everyday,” said the 2006 Olympic champion.
With warmer conditions for the afternoon final, before an enthusiastic crowd of about 7,000, Heil scored 22.80 points on what is widely regarded as the international circuit’s toughest moguls’ course.
Uemura’s winning score was 24.71.
“She’s just skiing so fast and aggressively and just going for it,” said Heil, indicating Uemura clearly deserved the win.
Nikola Sudova of the Czech Republic took the bronze in 21.76.
The other Canadian finalist in women’s moguls was defending champion Kristi Richards of Pemberton, B.C. In a season in which she has struggled until recently, she scored 21.20 for fifth.
“It’s been such a rough season for me. I’ve definitely been struggling for the results, but it’s nice to feel I’m out of my hole,” said Richards, who qualified seventh for the final.
Other Canadians were Nathalie Bazin of Quebec City in 22nd and Jackie Brown of Cambridge, Ont., in 27th.
One of the favourites in the men’s final was Alex Bilodeau of Rosemère, Que., who has won four straight World Cups this season.
But the day’s other Canadian medal went to Marquis, 24, at his very first World Championships.
Patrick Deneen of France won in 23.41, while Tapio Luusua of Finland scored 21.89 for the silver.
Marquis scored 21.66 for third. Maxime Gingras of St-Hippolyte, Que., was fifth in 21.42 after starting the season on the development team.
Bilodeau, who had difficulties in the middle of the course, placed eighth in 20.86.
“A lot of guys lose control on this course, but I’ve been doing well here the last couple of years,” said Marquis of past World Cup appearances.
“I didn’t win. I wish I’d done a little bit better,” added Marquis, who slowed slightly after landing his first jump, and drifted a bit wide after his second air.
“But to be able to pull it out (with a medal) is a big accomplishment.”
Defending champion Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau of Drummondville, Que., just missed the 16-skier final. He finished 17th with a score of 17.63. Philippe Marquis, brother of Vincent, placed 23rd of 46 starters.
The World Championships conclude with dual moguls Sunday.
Live streaming of all competitions from Inawashiro, Japan will be available at http://freestyle.infrontams.tv/popup/. The detailed competition schedule can be found at: http://www.inawashiro2009.jp/english/about/schedule.html
World Championship action can also be seen live on CBC Bold channels or on their website at cbcsports.ca.
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.