Uemura clinches moguls title; Snyderman 3rd
Japan's Aiko Uemura won her fourth straight over Czech Nikola Sudova to clinch the World Cup women's moguls title on Saturday in Are, Sweden. Dmitriy Reiherd of Kazhakstan upset World Cup champion Dale Begg-Smith of Australia to take the men's competition during the dual moguls showdown.
Kayla Snyderman led the U.S. with a third place finish. Michelle Roark was fourth. It was Snyderman's second podium of the year — her first full-time on the World Cup. The Waterville Valley skier was third in individual moguls at Lake Placid in January.
"Kayla did a great job today," said Moguls Head Coach Scott Rawles. "She had a few weeks in a row where she struggled a little bit so it was great she put it together today. She skied consistently and was a lot faster today than in the individual moguls yesterday.
The U.S. Ski Team had packed six skiers into the 16-skier finals. Snyderman started out in the round of 16 drawing teammate Emiko Torito, who has a three-event podium string. Snyderman advanced to then knock off Canada's Kristi Richards in quarterfinals before losing to Sudova in the semis. Snyderman came back to win the third place round over Roark.
The U.S. Ski Team's Bryon Wilson was knocked off by Reiherd in the quarterfinals, but came back to finish a career best fifth.
"Bryon did a great job, qualifying number one — best qualifying ever," said Rawles. "He battled some injuries early in the season and I think he's starting to get his health back and with it is his confidence. He was tenth yesterday, which was his second top-10 of the year. So he's starting to build that confidence back. He just went a little bit too big on his top air in the quarterfinals."
The moguls circuit wraps up next Wednesday in Valmalenco, Italy.