FILE UNDER -- Freestyle

Luusua and Kearney win moguls World Cup in Tignes

Luusua and Kearney win moguls World Cup in Tignes{mosimage}Tapio Luusua of Finland won a freestyle World Cup men’s moguls event Wednesday, while world champion Hannah Kearney of the United States claimed the women’s event.

Luusua’s score of 25.64 edged out Japan’s Yugo Tsukita (25.63) and Finland’s Sami Mustonen (25.44). Overall freestyle World Cup defending champion Jeremy Bloom of the United States was fourth in 25.19.

”I had problems on the top of the run,” Bloom said. ”I’ve been having a lot of that recently. But I feel in better shape than I did at this stage last year.”

Kearney, meanwhile, beat World Cup overall defending champion Jennifer Heil of Canada, with Sweden’s Sara Kjellin in third place.

”I want to win everything this season,” said Kearney, referring to the Winter Olympics at Turin in February. ”That’s my goal, but everyone here is going to be challenging. It’s kind of up in the air.”

Kearney scored 25.75, with Heil notching 25.37 and Kjellin 24.27 over the 249-meter (yard) long and 17-meter (yard) wide course, which featured a jump at the top of the hill and midway down it.

”It was long and steep and it took its toll,” Kearney said of the Tignes course _ which also had a 26.5-degree gradient.

Canada’s Warren Tanner and Alexandre Bilodeau failed to finish the men’s event after crashing.

Bilodeau, an 18-year-old native of Quebec, looked set for a podium place after a fast, spectacular run, but he clipped a mogul near the bottom and flipped sideways.

”I got an outside edge and it’s really hard to recover from that,” Bilodeau said. ”Maybe it’s inexperience. I think I lost a bit of concentration.”

In the men’s overall standings, Jeret Peterson of the United States is first, while Li Nina of China tops the women’s standings.

The freestyle World Cup features moguls, aerials, ski cross and halfpipe events.

-The Associated Press

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