Amid the harsh weather conditions at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre, India’s Arif Khan finished 53rd in his first run of the men’s giant slalom Alpine Skiing event at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Khan finished his first run with a time of 1:22.35 min
The Games debutant was the 85th skier in the starting list of the 89-man strong event. But with the heavy snow falling on the course dubbed ‘Ice River’, 33 competitors didn’t finish and two others didn’t start.
The leader at the end of the first race is Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt, a six-time junior World Cup gold medallist, who clocked 1:02.93 min.
The Ice River course starts at an altitude of 1925 metres and finishes at 1501 metres with a 424-metre vertical drop. With the heavy snow and wind though, the elements proved to be a harsh test for competitors – resulting in the high number of DNFs.
Khan though, did manage to finish his race despite a deficit of just over 19 seconds compared to Odermatt.
Ahead of the Games, he did assert that his aim was to finish in the top 30.
The second and final run of the giant slalom event was originally scheduled to start at 11.15 am IST on Sunday, but has been delayed due to weather conditions. Khan, though, will also be in action on February 16 when he competes in the men’s slalom event.