Matt Graham knocked out in moguls qualifying round

Matt Graham in a previous competition


Matt Graham, 2018 Olympic Silver Medallist and the Central Coast’s Olympic ambassador, was unable to advance to the finals from the Men’s Moguls Freestyle Skiing Qualification rounds on Thursday and Saturday, February 3 and 5.

Graham lost control during his opening run in the mogul section which put pressure on his performance during his second attempt two nights later when a small but fatal slip meant he failed to achieve the required score to qualify for the finals.

The Mogul event was run on a 250m course starting with a 28 degree jump, followed by a mogul section and ending with a second jump beneath clear skies at Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park in China’s northern province of Hebei.

Points were granted across three categories: time; air; and turns – enabling participants to maximise their combined score by demonstrating speed with rhythm on the moguls and balance on the jumps.

Thirty athletes from around the world entered the competition and the top 10 scorers from two qualifying rounds advanced to the final.

Graham’s commitment to tackling the mogul section with maximum speed in his opening attempt on Thursday meant he lost control and couldn’t manage the rhythm of the closely-lined snowy knolls.

He was forced to disengage from the run and accept a ‘did not finish’ result.

His second and final chance came on Saturday, where greater success in the mogul section led to him completing the run in 23.97 seconds, the fastest time of the night.

However, the judges pointed to a loss of balance upon the landing of his opening jump, as well as moments of lacking symmetry in his knees and legs on the turns.

Due to these slips, Graham’s score was 65.13 when he needed 74.62 to secure his spot in the final.

His ‘time’ score was impressive at 16.39, yet his ‘air’ and ‘turns’ scores were underwhelming at 10.94 and 37.8.

The final was won by Walter Wallberg (Sweden), with Mikael Kingsbury (Canada) and Ikuma Horishima (Japan) in second and third.

Reference to potential photo: Beijing Olympics Freestyle Skiing | Buy Photos | AP Images | DetailView