By Ray Grass
PARK CITY — The Dufour-LaPointe sisters from Canada didn’t dominate the World Cup dual mogul finals Saturday at Deer Valley Resort, as some had expected, but they didn’t leave without a win.
Justine Dufour-LaPointe won the women’s dual mogul final. Justine also won Thursday’s mogul, while sisters Chloe finished third and Maxime sixth in that event.
In the men’s final, the king of the men’s dual mogul event, Mikael Kingsbury, also from Canada, was dethroned in the quarterfinals by Jimi Salonen of Finland.
In the finals, however, Salonen lost to Anthony Benna of France, who skied a flawless run down the 248-meter course and completed two perfect aerials.
In the overall dual mogul standings, the Dufour-Lapointe sisters sit Nos. 1, 2 and 4. Saturday, on a very tough course that resembled a snow-covered boulder field rather than a ski course, it was Justine who was able to ski fast, take good air and finish with few mistakes.
In the finals, she beat Yulia Galysheva of Kazakhstan by a sizable margin — 22 points to 13. Dufour-LaPointe was a turn behind early in the race, but made up time and left the second jump at almost the same time as Galysheva.
In the bid for third, it was all USA. Jaelin Kauf made her first podium appearance by beating fellow American Mikaela Matthews.
Kauf was able to gain a lead in the midsection of the course and complete her two aerial maneuvers in good form.
The biggest upset came in the men’s quarterfinals when Salonen bested Kingsbury. Kingsbury, who has dominated the men’s dual mogul competition, has made 50 trips to the podium in dual mogul and finished first 31 times.
Salonen took an early lead in the first section of the course, but Kingsbury made up turns in the midsection and the two left the final jump at the same time. Salonen’s air maneuvers, however, earned the judges' favor and they awarded him 19 points to Kingsbury's 16.
In the race for third, Dmitriy Reiherd of Kazakhstan beat countryman Pavel Kolmakov. Kolmakov got off balance in the midsection of the course and could not make up time or gain points in the air.
The top U.S. skier in the men’s event was Thomas Rowley, who was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
According to U.S. officials, this is a building year for the Americans. This is a young group of athletes, one official noted, with "a lot of talent and potential."
This was the fourth event in the Deer Valley World Cup. On Thursday afternoon, the resort made room for an aerial event that had been cancelled in Lake Placid, New York. That evening the resort held the mogul competition and Friday the finals of the men’s and women’s aerials.
This was only the second World Cup dual mogul event of the season.