Winter Olympics: Arif Khan fails to finish men’s slalom

Beijing: India’s Winter Olympics campaign came to a disappointing end on Wednesday after the country’s lone entrant, alpine skier Arif Khanrecorded a ‘Did Not Finish’ in the men’s slalom event here.

The 31-year-old from Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, who finished 45th in the giant slalom on Sunday, was unable to complete run 1 at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Center here.

Since Khan, who made his debut at the Winter Olympics, was unable to complete run 1, he will not participate in the second run of the men’s slalom.

Only 52 of the 88 starters finished the first run and will participate again in run 2.

Khan wore a No 79 bib and got off to a good start, finishing first intermediate in 14.40s and second in 34.24s. However, he failed to complete the last part.

Austrian Johannes Strolz was the fastest skier in Run 1 with a time of 53.92s. Norwegian duo Henrik Kristoffersen (53.94s) and Sebastian Foss-Silevaag (53.98s) finished second and third respectively.

Khan, the first Indian to qualify for two events in a Winter Olympics, had a combined time of 2 minutes 47.24 seconds in the giant slalom.

He finished 45th, which is now India’s best-ever performance in men’s giant slalom at the Winter Olympics.

Polish-born Jeremy Bujakowski, India’s first-ever Winter Olympian, had finished 65th in Grenoble 1968.

In giant slalom – an alpine skiing event – athletes ski down a slope as they pass between sets of “gates” made up of two plastic poles.

A skier runs two races and the competitor with the lowest combined time over the two courses is deemed the winner.

In slalom, the course and distance between two consecutive gates is much smaller than in giant slalom, making it a much faster and more precise sport.

Failure to pass between a gate in Run 1 considers a run as DNF (Did Not Finish) and such athlete cannot participate in the second run.

During the Beijing Games, the giant slalom took place on the 424 m long ‘Ice River’ track with a start height of 1925 m and a finish height of 1501 m.

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