Sho Kashima not content with top-10 performances at worlds |

Sho Kashima not content with top-10 performances at worlds

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

A pair of top-10 performances at the World Freestyle Skiing Championships wasn’t totally satisfying for South Shore bump skier Sho Kashima.

After finishing sixth in the single moguls on Saturday at Inawashiro, Japan, Kashima concluded his second appearance at the championships by placing 10th in dual moguls.

Still, Kashima thought he could have done better.

“I kind of made a mistake in the singles finals. I messed up my landing on the bottom air,” Kashima said. “It could have been better if I had not made the mistake.”

In the finals, Kashima decided to increase his degree of difficulty on his first jump, changing from a loop to a back full on the top air and reperforming his corked 720 on the bottom. Kashima executed the back full on top but was unable to nail his landing on the corked 720. If he had landed the corked 720, Kashima thought he could have finished in the top-3.

His disappointment faded as teammate Pat Deneen of Cle Elum, Wash., was the surprising winner of the singles contest.

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“It was really exciting,” Kashima said. “They did an extended podium with awards going to the top six. I was on the podium with him with the national anthem playing. He was really pumped, and I was happy see him on top of that podium.”

Deneen and Kashima again led the Americans in the duals contest the next day. Deneen was fifth, while Kashima overcame a unsettled stomach to finish 10th.”I had stomach issues all day, so I thought I did OK for feeling poorly,” Kashima said.

Hannah Kearney topped the U.S. women by earning a bronze medal in duals. Tahoe City’s Shannon Bahrke was sixth in single moguls and 11th in duals.

Kashima still has a World Cup duals competition left on his schedule ” March 18-20 in La Plagne, France. His season will conclude on familiar terrain March 27-29 at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Squaw Valley.

“It’s going to be nice to be close to home,” he said. “It’s gonna be on the bottom of the hill, so it will be spectator friendly.”

The nationals will allow Kashima to catch up with his younger brother Yamato’s skiing career. Yamato, a member of the Heavenly Foundation Team, is expected to compete at nationals.

“It’s going to be exciting for me, because I haven’t seen him ski in a while,” Kashima said.

After being sidelined for part of the 2007-08 season with a serious ankle injury, Kashima bounced back this season to become one of the U.S.’s most consistent World Cup performers. Although he was a routine finisher in the top-10, Kashima believes his results could have been even better.

“I’m pretty happy with my season, but I wish I had taken better advantage of my opportunities,” Kashima said. “It’s learning and figuring things out after his.”