Ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Arif Khan had set a target for himself to finish in the top 30 of the giant slalom event. On the day of the event though, treacherous weather conditions effected the skiers racing down the slopes of the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre.
Before the first race on Sunday, 89 competitors had signed in, 87 eventually started. Thirty-three crashed out in the first race and eight more didn’t finish the second race. The second race, in fact, had to be delayed due to the severe weather conditions and heavy snowfall that had been effecting proceedings.
In the total 46 that did complete the event (finished both races), Khan finished 45th.
This was the first Olympic appearance for the 31-year-old from Gulmarg in Kashmir.
In the first race down the course named ‘Ice River,’ he finished 53rd after clocking a time of 1:22.35 minutes. In the second he clocked 1:24.89 min for a total score of 2:47.24. This was just under 38 seconds short of new Olympic gold medallist Marco Odermatt of Switzerland, who finished with a score of 2:09.35 min.
Taking silver was Slovenian skier Zan Kranjec (2:09.54 min) and bronze went to Frenchman Mathieu Faivre (2:10.69).
This is however, not the last that Khan will be seen at Beijing 2022. In December, he became the first Indian to qualify for two different events at the same edition of the Winter Olympics.
On Wednesday, February 16, he will compete in the men’s slalom event which starts at 7:45 hrs IST.