Canadian freestylers have four-medal day

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:04 PM ET

The nation's freestyle mogul team will have reason to celebrate as it heads home for the holidays.

Canadian skiers earned four medals Tuesday at the first FIS World Cup Mogul event to be held in China.

Teen mogul sensation Mikael Kingsbury of Deux-Montagnes, Que., led the medal haul with his first World Cup win.

Kingsbury, 18, had a score of 25.60 and was joined on the podium by the team's elder statesman, Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau, 31, of Drummondville, Que., who took third place at 24.05. France's Guilbaut Colas was second at 24.15.

Jenn Heil of Spruce Grove, Alta., and Kristi Richards of Summerland, B.C., placed second and third respectively in the women's event with scores of 25.26 and 23.83.

American Hannah Kearney won with a score of 25.34.

"The chairlifts here (at Beida Lake) were pretty slow, so we didn't get a chance for a training run between qualifications and finals," Kingsbury said. "I talked to my coach and we decided not to risk doing anything different (in the final run) than I had done all day.

"I did a clean run with a back full and a cork 720. I wasn't the fastest guy, but I didn't make any mistakes."

Kingsbury earned his second World Cup medal, having taken the silver 10 days ago in Finland.

Rousseau said Kingsbury has everything a mogul skier needs: Jumps, speed and the right mind-set.

"He proved it (Tuesday) and now I can leave the national team this year with the knowledge that it's in good shape for years to come," said Rousseau, who plans to retire after the world championship in February.

Rousseau said he was "happy and overwhelmed" by how well he has been skiing.

"I thought last year at the Olympics was the pinnacle for me, but I'm still in great shape and I'm still improving."

Heil, who lives in Montreal, said she took her performance up a level.

"I made a small mistake in the middle section that cost me, but I definitely laid the foundation for my confidence and my skiing to be at its maximum after Christmas."

As for the freestyle team, she said it is "on fire."

Other Canadian men's competitors Tuesday included: Eddie Hicks of Langley, B.C., eighth; Cedric Rochon of St-Sauveur, Que., 15th; and Alex Bilodeau of Rosemere, Que., 17th.

Other Canadian women's competitors included: Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City, fourth; Chelsea Henitiuk of Whistler, B.C., eighth; and Maxime Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal, 13th.

The team's next competition is the Canada Post Grand Prix at Ski Mont Gabriel, Jan. 15-16.


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