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American wins moguls freestyle event

December 13, 1996

LA PLAGNE, France (AP) _ American Johnny Moseley ignored any problems with Friday the 13th hexes and overcame a bad training spill Friday to win his first World Cup moguls contest of the season.

Moseley, of Tiburon, Calif., narrowly qualified for the finals and then scorched the course to compile 25.56 points. Swedish skier Jesper Roennbaeck was second with 24.88 with Canadian Olympic and defending World Cup moguls champion Jean-Luc Brassard third at 24.61.

In the women’s event, Tatjana Mittermayer of Germany won her second straight meet, receiving 24.26 points to 23.95 for Donna Weinbrecht, the five-time World Cup champion from West Milford, N.J. Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, Colo., who was fourth six times a year ago, took third with 23.78 points.

Moseley, the two-time World Cup overall champion, said finishing 21st a week ago in the season opener at Tignes was a wake-up call.

During the training between runs, Moseley crashed at the bottom of his run, breaking the binding of one ski and injuring his right shin. He taped the shin and replaced the ski for his final run.

``I didn’t ski a great run in semis and was lucky to get in there. Then, in practice, I switched lines from the outside to the middle and crashed at the bottom,″ he said. ``I kind of exploded across the finish line.

``I haven’t been skiing well all week but finally put a smoking run down in finals,″ said Moseley, who lost the ’96 World Cup bumps title on the final weekend of the season.

``After my crash I had a really good feeling that I had what it takes to win and it’s great to have my confidence back. I was bummed after Tignes. It’s always good to get the first one out of the way and that one made me focus a little more on what I need to do. ... I thought I just had to go out and do my thing and I could win but that one reminded me I have to stay focused.″

And he had no problems with Friday the 13th superstitions. ``Today? Oh yeah. ... I didn’t even think about it,″ the winner said.

Weinbrecht agreed with Moseley, noting the second-place finish was what she needed to help regain her confidence.

``I just have to work a little more on my air and really get back the feeling of letting go. Although this is one of the most difficult courses on the World Cup, I found it easier to ski than in previous year _ perhaps experience is working!″

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