- Freestyle Skiing
New moguls format adds level of importance to qualification round
Moguls is making its seventh consecutive appearance in the Olympic Winter Games, but this time something is different.
For the first time ever, moguls will be operating under a new format that includes an additional layer of competition referred as the “knockout” round. In the past the event only consisted of a qualification and a final round. This year’s format will make for a skier to potentially take more runs than ever in a single day of competition, making the initial qualification round that much more important to ace.
“I think it is really important to be in the top ten,” stressed defending gold medalist American Hannah Kearney. “Mostly because we would have never skied four runs in a day. So, if you are in the bottom ten you have to ski one more run.”
“It also gives you confidence that you are doing the right thing on this course, you are skiing well compared to everyone else and that is really all that matters,” continued Kearney. “Getting the qualifying run out of the way is, to me, the hardest part. It’s nerve-racking because the Olympics all hinge on how you qualify.”
Kearney's teammate Eliza Outtrim shares similar sentiments, only affirming its significance.
“It’s important… The less runs you can ski on the final day is going to be of benefit.”
However, relieving yourself of that one extra run isn’t all that is important.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Hannah Kearney takes women's moguls qualification
Looking to the final day for moguls we will see another qualification round, followed by the new knockout round that could make for two runs for some skiiers and then the final round.
Skiing potentially four runs in a single day is no easy feat, but this will not be the case for these two riders as they each landed in the top ten, Kearney first overall and Outtrim in fourth, during their initial qualifying run on Thursday. As did their biggest competitors, the three Canadian Dufour-Lapointe sisters (Chloe, Justine and Maxime) and the hometown favorite, Russian Regina Rakhimova.
Expect all of the above mentioned women to return to the firm and fast course in Rosa Khutor’s Extreme Park with a vengeance in the knockout round on Saturday with their conserved energy skiing a total of three runs each in an effort to go full-bore on their final, medal contending runs.
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