The Olympic champion and World Cup sensation Hannah Kearney’s continued to display her dominance in the sport of freestyle skiing at Saturday’s FIS Freestyle World Cup in Naeba, Japan. This victory bring Kearney’s winning streak to 16! During her second (and final run) Kearney scored a huge 1.25 points higher than the rest of the competition.
After the competition, Kearney spoke of the key to the day’s success, “This week was about enjoying skiing. If I allow the pressure of continuing a streak or trying to beat the people who are trying to beat me, I ski more tensely. This week I tried to have fun and that is what allowed me to do a better mute grab, because it’s fun to do tricks.”
The course of Naeba is the site of Kearney’s very first world cup victory back in 2004. “This was the site of the first World Cup I ever won. I even got to walk past the pay phone that I remember calling my parents on and waking them up in the middle of the night to tell them that I’d won”, she reminisced.
On the men’s side, fellow American Jeremy Cota took a second place victory finishing behind Mikael Kingsbury of Canada. Cota has finished on the second place podium three times this season, and this isn’t the first time he’s been edged out by Kingsbury.
When asked about the day’s competition, Cota explained, “It was a good day, a long day. The weather conditions were changing all the time. It took quite a while to get going, but once we did I was happy with the way I skied.” He followed by exclaiming, “It is good to be close and hopefully one of these times I can take him (Kingsbury) out!”
Due to course conditions the super final had to be canceled. This caused the athletes to rely on their first two runs to be counted for points. Garth Hagar, U.S. moguls coach spoke to the difficulties this imposed upon his athletes. “It was a challenging day, because of the conditions. We figured it was going to be a reduced schedule, without the superfinal. So everyone had to deliver on their first two runs.”