DEER VALLEY, Utah – Finland’s Mikko Ronkainen successfully defended his world moguls title Friday and prevented the U.S. from running away with all the medals at the World Freestyle Championships.
Ronkainen took the gold with a 28.09 while Americans Jeremy Bloom (27.33) and Toby Dawson (27.22) took silver and bronze, respectively.
Aiko Uemura, Tae Satoya and Miyuki Hatanaka had a miserable day at the freestyle skiing world championships Friday as the Japanese trio all crashed and were shut out of the medals in the women’s moguls final.
Uemura, bronze medalist at the 2001 world championships and fourth in Wednesday’s qualifying round, let her hopes for back-to-back podium finishes slip away when she ran out of the course.
She caught herself off-balance after landing her second aerial discipline and strayed off the demanding 260-meter course, which is longer than most other courses used for top-tier competitions, near the finish line.
“I was exhausted after the second jump and I felt my skis were being pulled. Then I was off the course before I knew it. I’ll start afresh and hopefully do better in the dual moguls,” Uemura said of Saturday’s final event of the meet.
Two-time Olympic medalist Satoya fell after losing her balance on her first jump and Hatanaka failed to perform her first aerial maneuver as the three Japanese all had no points in the official results and finished tied for 14th in the field of 16 skiers.
Reigning Olympic champion Kari Traa of Norway won her second straight world title with 27.99 points. Michelle Roark of the United States took silver on 27.13 and Canadian Stephanie St. Pierre bronze on 26.46.
Yugo Tsukita, the only Japanese skier who advanced to the men’s final, was 11th with 25.32 points.
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