Silver for Kauf in Moguls World Championships
Jaelin Kauf earned her first singles moguls World Championship medal in Bakuriani, Georgia, on Saturday claiming silver. This is her third World Championships medal in the four she’s competed at. Kauf continued her season’s speed streak, skiing the fastest run of the women’s super final round and earning a score of 83.56.
“I’m really stoked,” she said in the finish area. “I was really toying around with the idea of that last one to do cork on the bottom air and really go for that top spot. But I’ve never had a World Champs medal before in singles. I just focused on skiing my same run, putting it down, skiing it fast and nailing those turns.”
Kauf is having a time of a season skiing fast and confidently, and making it look effortless on the bump track.
“I am really focused on my strengths and that’s skiing the speed and executing the jumps that I have to a really high level. I feel like I’m really pushing the sport and it’s really fun, pushing the speed, seeing if I can max it out every event.”
The American women made a statement on Saturday with Kauf, Olivia Giaccio, Hannah Soar and Elizabeth Lemley all qualifying for finals in the first qualification round, going 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. World Championship format differs from typical World Cup format in that each athlete has two chances to qualify for finals, which features 18 per gender instead of the usual 12.
Lemley made her World Championships debut on Saturday, running first out of the gate to kick off the event and setting the tone for the rest of the women. The 17-year-old joined Kauf in the Super Final round, but unfortunately DNFd and finished the day in sixth.
“I was pretty nervous but I laid down a good run,” Lemley reflected after qualifications. When asked if she liked going first, she answered, “Nope! Hated it.”
In finals Giaccio performed back full to cork 7 and skied a strong middle section, but didn’t quite nail the landing of her bottom air and finished the day in 12th, her career-best World Championships result. Soar finished the day in 8th, her best singles World Championships finish as well.
France’s Perrine Laffont won her second consecutive World Championship title and Austria’s Avital Carroll rounded out the podium with bronze.
On the men’s side Nick Page was the lone American to make finals, qualifying eighth in the first qualification round, excusing him from running a second time. In finals Page stomped his top cork 7 grab and skied a strong middle section, but had a mistake in landing his bottom cork 10, and finished the day in 15th - his career-best World Championships finish.
Dylan Marcellini and Cole McDonald each made their World Championships debuts. Marcellini had a strong first qualification run, coming in 11th, narrowly missing the ninth position cutoff. He took another run, but it wasn’t enough to make it to finals, and he finished the day in 20th. McDonald finished the day in 30th. Dylan Walczyk also competed, and finished in 24th.
Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury earned his seventh World Championship gold medal, Australia’s Matt Graham took silver and Sweden’s Walter Wallberg took bronze.
Moguls continues World Championship competition with Duals on Sunday.
“Same thing for tomorrow,” said Kauf for her game plan. “Focus on the speed, be the first out of the gate and first to cross the finish line, and hopefully move up one place.”