Bahrke eighth, Kashima 37th in moguls opener
SUOMU, Finland – Jesper Bjornlund of Sweden won his first moguls World Cup title in the freestyle season-opener on Friday, while reigning U.S. national champion Bryon Wilson finished a career-best second.
Wilson was joined on the podium by teammate and reigning World Cup moguls champion Hannah Kearney, who finished third behind in the women’s event.
“It’s my best result ever,” said Wilson, who qualified ninth. “I just pushed out of the gate, did my double full and then charged the middle section. I knew it was a good run.”
South Shore’s Sho Kashima placed 37th with a score of 20.52 from the judges.
Bjornlund had 24.41 points while Wilson, a former junior world champion, scored 24.34.
“Great stuff for Bryon,” moguls coach Scott Rawles said. “He’s had a lot of success at a lot of different levels, but this is the first time he’s been on the World Cup podium. We knew it was going to happen and that he had the potential to do it.”
Canada’s Kristi Richards won the women’s event with 24.97 points, while Japan’s Aiko Uemura scored 24.58. Kearney finished with 24.10.
“On my second run, I just gave it away,” Kearney said, noting the seven-plus hour break for an opening ceremony between attempts. “It was just a whole other competition.”
Heather McPhie of Park City, Utah, followed her second-place qualifying run with a seventh-place finish. Olympic silver medalist Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City, Calif., finished eighth, and Michelle Roark of Denver was ninth.
“We’ve had a long period of practice. It’s nice that the World Cup is finally here,” Rawles said. “We’ve had really good training since we got here. It’s been good.”
Reno’s Shelly Robertson finished 14th with a score of 21.98.
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