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Olympics-Freestyle skiing-Wallberg aims for Beijing podium finishes in moguls

Randy Mancini 17 Feb 2
Freestyle Skiing - Men and Women Moguls Training
2022 Beijing Olympics - Freestyle Skiing - Men and Women Moguls Training - Genting Snow Park, Zhangjiakou, China - February 1, 2022. Walter Wallberg of Sweden during training REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

February 2, 2022

ZHANGJIAKOU, China (Reuters) – Swedish moguls skier Walter Wallberg, who arrived in Beijing on a hot run of form, feels he is closing the gap on Olympic moguls champion Mikael Kingsbury.

Kingsbury is the most decorated moguls skier in history, winning gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics four years ago after taking silver at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Wallberg is towards the front of the chasing pack hoping to spring a surprise by dethroning the Canadian on the Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park on Saturday.

“My season has been fantastic … I have some high expectations and I’m very excited,” the 21-year-old said on Wednesday.

“My goal is to get a medal, especially after I had four podiums in the past competitions this year. I want to just focus on putting my runs down, so as many good runs as possible.

“I feel like there’s still a small gap between me and Mikael. I have some things to work on, especially on the jumping, but I’m skiing pretty well and I need to close that gap.”

Wallberg is part of a strong Swedish team in Beijing.

“We are four guys here and it could be one of the best teams Sweden has sent to the Olympics,” said Ludvig Fjallstrom, who is set for his third Olympics.

“I’m excited to have a chance to fight for some hardware. My goal is to go through every round and to end up in that fight for the top three. If you get there, you can risk everything and really go for it.”

The Olympic freestyle skiing competitions start on Thursday with the qualifying rounds for moguls event.

(Reporting by Winni Zhou and Mari Saito; Editing by Kim Coghill)