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Skiing - 09. March 2009.

Kearney takes bronze at Worlds

INAWASHIRO, Japan-Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) pulled out the stops Sunday to wrap up the 2009 FIS Freestyle Ski World Championships with a dual moguls bronze medal for the U.S.

"A World Championship medal is always a wonderful thing to have and it feels great. I'm happy to head home with it," Kearney said.

Japan took the gold and silver for the women's dual moguls with Aiko Uemura winning and Miki Ito in second.

The 2005 World Championship moguls gold medalist, Kearney, who had not placed lower than sixth in competition the entire season, was happy to be able to redeem herself from a 14th-place finish following a crash in the Worlds moguls competition Saturday.

"After yesterday, where I had my worst result of the season, it certainly feels good to fight back and make my way to the podium."

According to Kearney, the course in Japan was one of the most challenging of her season, which left her looking to improve upon her skiing even after earning the bronze.

"This course has been eating me alive. It is incredibly difficult. The snow changes from slush to ice and the turns are hard. I struggled. I skied one clean run today and that was my first at Worlds. Every other run had mistakes," Kearney said. "I'm really actually disappointed in my level of skiing, but pleased with the medal.

"I guess that's just the sport, though. Sometimes you ski really well, but you're not happy with your result. Other times you are happy with your result but not with your skiing and that was today for me."

With her bronze in tow, Kearney now looks to ski her best at the final World Cup of the season March 18 - 20 in France. But, she assures, her new hardware won't be the final touches to a perfect season if she can help it.

"This is maybe the egg of the cake - a key ingredient, but definitely not the icing. That's going to hopefully come next week during the last World Cup of the year," Kearney said. "I want to ski cleanly and win. I want that World Cup title more than I've wanted anything in a long time, so I'm going to rest, train and show up with some better technique and be ready to take the title."

Inawashiro, Japan - March 8, 2009
Dual Moguls

1. Aiko Uemura, Japan
2. Miki Ito, Japan
3. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT
4. Tae Satoya, Japan
5. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic
11. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, CA
22. Emiko Torito, Denver
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