Inawashiro, Japan, Feb. 5, 2001--U.S. Freestyle Ski Team mogul skiers Travis Cabral (South Lake Tahoe, CA) and Shannon Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA) picked up World Cup podium finishes Saturday as they each placed third in Japan. Finn Janne Lahtela and Norwegian Kari Traa were the winners.
Lahtela won with a score of 26.17, just edging Canadian Pierre-Alexander Rousseau, who finished second with a 26.13. Cabral was third with a 26.04 on the extremely steep Daffy course.
The battle for first and second on the men's side was a tight one. Rousseau posted two impressive runs and was the favorite to take the win with only one competitor left to run. However, that competitor was Lahtela, who was looking for redemption after making a mistake lastweekend at Sunday River, Maine that left him in last place among the finalists. Lahtela turned it on in Japan, making the bestturns of the day and throwing in a quad air to knock Rousseau off the top podium spot.
Cabral used blazing speed and huge airs to collect his first career World Cup podium. Saturday's event was his first WorldCup start this season and just the fifth of his young career. The '99 U.S. moguls champion, Cabral's previous best on WorldCup was an 11th last season at Heavenly, Calif.
Five of the top 10 finishers were Americans as Travis Ramos (South Lake Tahoe, CA) was fourth (25.24), Ryan Riley(Steamboat Springs, CO) was fifth (25.19), Jonny Moseley (Tiburon, CA) was eighth (25.15) and Chris Hernandez (South LakeTahoe, CA) was ninth (24.94).
Double World Champion Traa held on to defeat top qualifier and hometown hero Aiko Uemura by a score of 25.02 to 24.88.Bahrke stood on the podium after notching a score of 24.12.
Bahrke always performs well in Japanese events as she now has five career top-10 World Cup finishes in the country.Saturday's third was Bahrke's best result of the season, topping her fourth place performance at the Deer Valley, Utah WorldCup in early January. She is still in the hunt for her first World Cup win, however, as her best career finish is second, a feat shehas accomplished twice - both times at Madarao, Japan ('00 moguls, '99 duals).
Two other American women made the finals field, with reigning World Cup champion Ann Battelle (Steamboat Springs, CO)finishing ninth (22.58) and Donna Weinbrecht (Killington, VT) taking 11th (22.03).
Lahtela and Traa continue to lead the World Cup moguls standings. Traa is also just barely ahead of Australian aerialist JaquiCooper for the overall World Cup points lead.
The FIS Freestyle World Cup schedule moves on to Iizuna Kogen, Japan, for moguls and dual moguls events Feb. 10-11.
FIS Freestyle World Cup Inawashiro, Japan
Feb. 3, 2001
1. Janne Lahtela, Finland, 26.17
2. Pierre-Alexander Rousseau, Canada, 26.13
3. Travis Cabral, S. Lake Tahoe, Calif., 26.04
4. Travis Ramos, S. Lake Tahoe, Calif., 25.24
5. Ryan Riley, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 25.19
6. Yugo Tsukita, Japan, 25.17
7. Richard Gay, France, 25.17
8. Jonny Moseley, Tiburon, Calif., 25.15
9. Chris Hernandez, S. Lake Tahoe, Calif., 24.94
10. Mikko Ronkainen, Finland, 23.63
11. Toby Dawson, Vail, Colo., 23.51
12. Johann Gregoire, France, 22.28
13. Katsuya Nakamoto, Japan, 22.22
14. Evan Dybvig, Tunbridge, Vermont, 20.16
1. Kari Traa, Norway, 25.02
2. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 24.88
3. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif., 24.12
4. Margarita Marbler, Austria, 23.60
5. Maria Despas, Austria, 23.04
6. Kelly Ringstad, Canada, 23.02
7. Minna Karhu, Finland, 22.78
8. Katleen Allais, France, 22.72
9. Ann Battelle, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 22.58
10. Elena Vorona, Russia, 22.49
11. Donna Weinbrecht, Killington, Vermont, 22.03
12. Tami Bradley, Canada, 18.31
Did Not Qualify for Finals
21. Jillian Vogtli, Park City, Utah, 19.08
24. Emiko Torito, Englewood, Colo., 18.27
25. Hannah Hardaway, Moultonborough, New Hampshire, 16.63