Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: India’s Arif Khan fails to finish men’s slalom event

A file photo of Mohammad Arif Khan.

Indian alpine skier Mohammad Arif Khan ended his men’s slalom event at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics with a DNF (Did Not Finish) on Wednesday.

Mohammad Arif Khan, who finished 45th in the giant slalom event on Sunday, failed to complete his first run at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre.

In the slalom Alpine skiing event, like giant slalom, athletes ski down a slope in the quickest time possible while ensuring they pass between sets of gates or poles.

Competitors get two runs and are ranked according to their cumulative times – lower is better – over both attempts.

Failure to pass between any gate in Run 1 deems a run as DNF (Did Not Finish). A DNF in run 1 means the athlete can’t participate in the second run. Missing a gate or crashing off course in Run 2 also earns a skier a DNF, which makes them ineligible for a ranking in the final standings.

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

In Beijing 2022, the slalom event ‘Ice River’ course was a 211m-long course with a start altitude of 1712m and a finish altitude of 1501m.

Competing in a field of 88 athletes from 61 nations in slalom, Arif Khan was the 79th skier in the start list for Run 1.

Arif Khan started his run well, finishing the first intermediate in 14.40s and the second in 34.41s. However, the 31-year-old from Jammu and Kashmir veered off course in the final stretch and failed to finish.

The Indian won’t be returning for the second run later in the day. Only 52 of the 88 starters managed to finish Run 1 and will compete again in Run 2.

France’s Noel Clement won the men’s slalom gold medal with a cumulative timing of 1:44.09 seconds over the two runs. Austria’s Johannes Strolz of Austria, the race leader after Run 1, bagged silver with 1:44.70s while Norway’s Sebastian Foss-Solevaag (1:44.79s) clinched the bronze.

Despite his disappointing finish to Beijing 2022, Arif Khan has already made a mark at his debut Winter Games, recording the best-ever finish by an Indian in giant slalom at the Olympics.

Arif Khan was India’s sole representative at Beijing 2022 and participated in the slalom and giant slalom events.


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