|MARIANSKE LAZNE, Czech Republic (March 1) - The U.S. Ski Team's Emiko Torito (Denver) skied to the podium Saturday night in dual moguls at the FIS Freestyle World Cup in Marianske Lazne. Torito, a winner in January, was third in the women's event. |
Aiko Uemura of Japan won her second straight competition and took over the World Cup lead. Torito moved into fourth in the standings.
Emiko Torito (Denver) celebrates her third place at the FIS Freestyle World Cup, Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic. (Brian Pinelli/U.S. Ski Team)
Torito Comes Back in Consolation Round
Mistakes in the semifinals cost Torito a shot at the win, losing to Sylvia Kerfoot of Canada. "I had no idea what Sylvia was doing. I knew I drifted on my bottom air (backflip) and it wasn't a perfect run," said Torito. "In duals, though, there is always a chance. But I guess she beat me pretty bad. In my mind I thought I had a chance."
Torito was able to get back on track in the consolation round, taking third with a win over Alizee Boulangeat of France. "It was a good clean run," she said. "It was pretty smooth, more so than my semifinal run, so I was very happy with it."
"I would say that she's probably one of our strongest skiers right now," said Hager. "It's just the fact that she'll ski any course and ski it well. She doesn't question anything. She's a true skier and has fun doing it."
Nate Roberts (Park City, UT) and Emiko Torito (Denver) celebrate their podiums at the FIS Freestyle World Cup, Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic. (Brian Pinelli/U.S. Ski Team)
Weather Tricky but Athletes Adapt
Weather was a big factor for the event, with only a band of thin snow on the course. "It's been the most interesting World Cup I've been a part of over the past five years," said Roberts. "The course is the shortest one I've ever skied. The weather - it has been pouring rain and maybe only six inches of snow on the course. Everybody needed to adapt and I'm lucky that I came out ahead of the game this week."
Torito shook off the weather problems and was excited about the event. "This is one of the biggest crowds in Europe," she said. "I was very impressed with the turn-out and the fans were great. It was a really nice setting as a whole and the town is beautiful. It was pouring rain and lightning in the morning so we got lucky that it was better in the afternoon. I'm typically not a duals skier so I have no complaints."
All in all, Hager was pleased with the performance. "Everybody skied pretty well," he said. "It was an easy course and there were some faults, but nobody said anything about it and just skied. We had some tough draws and most people skied to their potential. In duals anything can happen."
The U.S. Ski Team had four women make the final round of 16, with Torito the only one advancing. Three men made the finals, with only Roberts and Pat Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) advancing. Deneen lost to the eventual winner Colas in the quarter final.
The World Cup moguls circuit now heads north to Are, Sweden for a pair of events next weekend, before finishing at the World Cup Finals at Valmalenco near Bormio, Italy.
FIS Freestyle World Cup
Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic - March 1, 2008
1.Aiko Uemura, Japan
2. Sylvia Kerfoot, Canada
3. Emiko Torito, Denver
4. Alizee Boulangeat, France
15. Michelle Roark, Denver
16. Shelly Robertson, Reno, NV
18. Kayla Snyderman, Winchester, MA
# # #
Click for Marianske Lazne photos
Click below for complete results: