|ARE, Sweden (March 7) - Emiko Torito (Denver) was third for her third consecutive event.|
Torito also led four U.S. athletes into the top 10 including Shelly Robertson (Reno, NV) in fifth and Michelle Roark (Denver) in eighth. Both also have had top-3 results this season. Torito threw a 360-degree helicopter off the top jump and a back flip-X off the bottom to place third.
"This is the most consistent I've ever been. I feel like I'm starting to build some confidence and every time I do well it grows," Torito said. "It would be cool to be first or second but I feel happy with any World Cup podium. It's my first year making regular podiums and it feels good."
"She's got a lot of confidence going with her skiing right now. In her finals run, she made a little mistake coming out of the top jump, but she charged after that and that's what got her on the podium," Rawles said. "When people make mistakes, a lot of times they think their run is over. Instead of doing that, Emiko charged and ended up in third."
Aiko Uemura of Japan won the women's competition to make it her third consecutive win since competing in her homeland at Inawashiro, Japan. Uemura also extended her lead in the World Cup standings over the Czech Republic's Nikola Sudova, who finished fourth, by 83 points.
The FIS Freestyle World Cup continues Saturday in Are, Sweden, with men's and women's dual moguls.
2008 FIS FREESTYLE WORLD CUP
Are, SWE - March 7, 2008
1. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 24.43
2. Kristi Richards, Canada, 23.73
3. Emiko Torito, Denver, 23.00
4. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic, 22.91
5. Shelly Robertson, Reno, NV, 22.85
8. Michelle Roark, Denver, 22.49
9. Heather McPhie, Park City, UT, 21.79
15. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, NY, 18.15
17. Kayla Snyderman, Winchester, MA, 20.12
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com