A 2nd final in two days for three Quebecers
VAL SAINT-CÔME | Elliot Vaillancourt wrapped up his career-best World Cup by giving Olympic medalist Ikuma Horishima a serious scare in the round of 16.
This is the second time in his career that Vaillancourt crossed swords with the Japanese in a duel and he wanted to make amends after a disappointing descent in Alpe d'Huez in December.
“In France, I had made big mistakes and I had given it easy, he said. This time, I wanted to pull off a big run so he would remember me. I'm really happy with my run and I think he'll remember me.”
Vaillancourt edged Horishima to the finish line, but the Japanese got a better score due to a jump with a higher degree of difficulty. “I was faster than the leader of the World Cup in duels,” he said. Even though we are about the same age, Ikuma is an idol because he is so good and I used to follow his performances. It's quite an honor to measure up to him and be behind him.”
“I knew that with an equal descent, it was he who would pass, but I made a small error in the top landing and that's enough to make the difference, to pursue Vaillancourt. His degree of difficulty on the top jump is higher and he got a better score on that too. I have nothing to complain about my descent and I am extremely happy. This is my best World Cup weekend in my career.”
After qualifying for the first career World Cup on Friday, Julien Viel and Louis-David Chalifoux came back tonight by reaching the round of 16 in a duel with 11th and 14th place respectively.
< p>“Walter Wallberg is fast, but I took advantage of the moment by facing the Olympic champion, underlined Viel about his duel against the Swede. It's special, but I did my job. This is my best weekend on the World Cup circuit. I had fun and I want to repeat. I can't wait to see what's next.”
Like Viel and Vaillancourt, Chalifoux came up against a big name in the round of 16. He had his teammate Mikaël Kingsbury as his opponent. “Mik is Mik and there is not much to do except do your best. Even if I was not able to follow him, I am happy with my descent. It's always fun to have a duel against him. In our first duel in 2019 at nationals, I was only 16 and I fell. It's an improvement.”
“I really didn't expect it to make two finals this weekend, added Chalifoux. I'm super happy with my runs. I couldn't ask for better.”
Gabriel Dufresne was frustrated with his performance, he who was eliminated in the first lap to conclude in 29th place. “It's extremely frustrating because I fought myself,” he said. I absolutely wanted to be first on the top jump, but I got stuck on the last bump. The top jump cost me my duel. I was not in a good position to catch up. I felt good, but I didn't ski as I am capable of.”
For his part, Kerrian Chunlaud took part in his first duel of the season, he who has just returned from an operation in ACL. He finished in 21st place. “It's the first time I've been going this fast in a long time. It feels good.”