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Women's moguls finals wrap up in Sochi

Published On: Feb 08 2014 01:43:50 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 08 2014 01:46:18 PM CST
Hannah Kearney, Olympics moguls qualification

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

U.S. freestyle skier Hannah Kearney fell short of defending her Olympic gold medal title in women's moguls Saturday, having to settle for bronze in Sochi.

Sisters Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe of Canada finished atop the podium with gold and silver medals, respectively.

American Eliza Outtrim finished in sixth place.

Kearney's medal is the second of her Olympic career following the gold she won in moguls in 2010 in Vancouver. She was aiming to become the first freestyle skier in history to win two Olympic gold medals. She also competed at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

The 27-year-old from Vermont was the overwhelming favorite to repeat in the event, having won the test event in Sochi last year as well as world championship gold in 2013. That world championship came eight years after her first world title and made her just the third woman in history to win two world championships in moguls.

The skiers who made it through to Saturday's finals had to advance through two initial segments, with the final six squaring off in a "super final" for the medals. Moguls are judged on both time and style.

Outtrim, a 28-year-old Connecticut native, finished second last year on Sochi course at a test event. She was ranked fourth in the world in 2013 in mogus, but struggled to start the current season. She bounced back with finishes of fourth, sixth and seventh in her last three events before the OIympics to secure her spot in Sochi.

American Heidi Kloser injured her knee Thursday during a warmup run for the qualification contest and saw her first Olympics end before they had even officially begun. She was seen walking on crutches into the Opening Ceremony with the rest of Team USA on Friday.

Kloser, a 21-year-old Vail, Colo., native and five-year veteran of the U.S. freestyle team qualified for Sochi thanks to a strong performance in January, finishing fifth, second and fifth in the last three World Cup moguls events. The second-place finish in Lake Placid, N.Y., equalled her career best World Cup result.

Kearney and Outtrim finished first and fourth in the women’s moguls qualification Thursday, moving directly to today's finals, while Montana native Heather McPhie failed to immediately qualify with a 14th place finish. Instead, she had to advance from the semifinals earlier today, finishing the semis in sixth place to join 10 other skiers moving on to the finals.

McPhie failed to advance to the "super final" in the initial segments of the final round. The 29-year-old is in her second Olympics after making her debut in Vancouver four years ago. A former gymnast, she came late to moguls but is making up for lost time, with back-to-back titles at the U.S. Freestyle Championships in 2012 and 2013.

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