Following a strong top thirty run earlier this day, Matt Ryan was a DNF in the second run of the Giant Slalom today, after a crash dashed his hopes at the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne.
Earlier today Ryan clocked a fast time of 1.06.80, which had him ranked 28th going into the second run and confirmed him as the third starter. By the second split on the second run Ryan’s time indicated he was pushing a top twenty position until he clipped a gate and crash out.
The event was won by Philip Hoffmann (AUT) with 2.06.31, with Swiss skiers Sandro Zurbruegg and Luc Roduit taking silver and bronze. The overall finish position of athletes in the Giant Slalom is based on the combined scores of the first and second run.
“I had a good run going up top, I skied the top flat well. Then down through the pitch I skied pretty well. I just got a little low on some of the gates and clipped one of the gates with my skies and had a little crash. It’s a little bit sore on my quad, but it will be fine tomorrow,” Ryan explained after the crash in an event which saw 22 people DNF between the two runs.
Already the seventeen-year-old has his sights set on a good performance tomorrow in the Slalom, “I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow, so I’ll get back on it and be ready for it tomorrow. I had a good run in the Alpine Combined Slalom so I’m excited for the slalom, it’s my favourite event,” added Ryan, who was the seventeenth fastest racer in the Alpine Combined Slalom on Saturday, which netted an overall placing of twenty-five.
Earlier today the Waterville Valley Academy racer had a clean fast run, which ensured he was a high starter this afternoon.
The course has been consistently icy this week, and Ryan needed to register a score in his first race in order to move to the second run. His finish position meant that he was the third starter later. The top thirty in the first run are ‘flipped’ going into the second run, which means that the skier who finished first in the first run was the thirtieth starter for the second, and the thirtieth finisher started first.
In the Giant Slalom, sixty of the seventy-seven starters moved into the second run, with most of the slips earlier today occurring towards the bottom of the course. Describing the course after the first run Ryan said,
“Up top it was pretty straight, not too turny, so I tried to push the line up there. Coming onto the pitch it started to tighten up and swing a little more, so it was all about active movement, staying in the turn. And towards the bottom and got a little icy, so that’s where a lot of people are slipping out, I think.”
There was a delayed start to today’s race, following a technical issue with the gondola bringing the athletes up to the start. The race was pushed forward by an hour and a half, which Ryan took in his stride, “I try to not let delays or changes, or anything throw me off, so I try to stay focused do what I usually do and have fun.”
Tomorrow both Irish athletes will be in action, competing in the Slalom, the preferred event of both Matt Ryan and Emma Austin.
They are competing in the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, with the Alpine Skiing taking place in the ski resort, Les Diablerets. The competition runs from the 9-22 January, with two waves of competition, and thus two waves of athletes coming into the village.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games have complete gender balance, with the same number of males and females competing, and they are a sustainable-games with athletes and competitors using existing transport systems. Over the course of the games almost 1900 athletes are competing in 8 sports, which cover 16 disciplines and 81 sporting events! To maximise sustainability the sports are run in waves, with Alpine Skiing featuring in the first wave.
The Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland will be the first of two major events for Team Ireland in 2020, with the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo later this year.
RESULTS GIANT SLALOM
Gold Philip Hoffmann (Austria) 2:06.31
Silver Sandro Zurbruegg (Switzerland) 2:08.85
Bronze Luc Roduit (Switzerland) 2:08.89
DNF Matt Ryan (Ireland) 1:06.80 first run.