Australian aerial jumper David Morris has promised to attempt “five twists” as he goes for gold in Sunday’s men’s aerial final at the Winter Olympics.
Facing oblivion on his final jump in the qualifiers on Saturday, Morris pulled out a stunning jump to advance to the final and give himself the chance to go one better than his 2014 silver medal in Sochi.
The Victorian made it to the last 12 the hard way, fighting his way through the second round after finishing 15th in the first round.
On a night of high quality jumping, Morris managed a big score of 124.89, telling Channel Seven it was a “stressful” moment.
“I don’t want to do that again. I was just looking at the scores to get into the top six and they were like 1.23 which is a fantastic score to get in, that is a proper competition,” he said.
“You just have to do big straight jumps and stick it, and I came off the jump and thought ‘Oh, this is big!’ and my coach is yelling ‘Stretch!’ and I’m like ‘I don’t think I’m stretched enough and like I’m going to land on my back!’ … it was great and I’m really relieved to get through the qualifications.
“I tend to like train really poorly and then compete really well and today I was training really well and I thought ‘I don’t know if that’s going to pull off’ … it would have been good to get through in the first round and just like ‘peace out’, but I like to keep you watching the TV [in Australia] for a little longer.
Morris has promised he’ll go for gold on Sunday.
“We’ll see you out here tomorrow for some more,” he said.
It is going to be interesting tomorrow because [I’ve got] a chance in the finals and five twists are going to come out , I’m going to practice it in training and I hope you guys get to see that skill because it is something.”
In the women’s short track, Australia’s Deanna Lockett made the semi-final of the 1500m race but crashed out late in the 13-lap contest.
“I was really happy with how I started in the semi-final, but then I got a bit trapped,” Lockett told Olympics.com.au. “I would have liked to go further but that’s just the sport.”
The men’s figure skating saw Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu win gold for the second straight Winter Olympics, but a skater who missed the medals has shone almost as brightly on a dramatic night at Gangneung Ice Arena.
American Nathan Chen had a record-breaking routine featuring six quad jumps, but fell just short of the medals.
No-one had ever done five quad jumps in Winter Olympic history – Chen attempted six in his program, and he landed all of them.
Australia’s Brendan Kerry had a tough start to his free routine, but earned some redemption after a nightmare campaign in Sochi four years ago.
The 23-year-old finished 29th in the short program at the last Winter Olympics, failing to get through to perform his free skating routine. This time, the Sydneysider made sure he was there to the finish, scoring 83.06 to place 16th after the short program.
Kerry — the son of Monica MacDonald, who represented Australia in ice dancing at the 1988 Winter Olympics — was scheduled to begin his long program with two quad jumps, but his toeloop ended up as a double, and his salchow was three rather than four revolutions.
From there, the Australian was struggling to make up the technical elements points to build up his score, but he recovered with a series of solid triple jumps and spins. He finished with 150.75 points, for a total of 233.81.
“That [start] was hard, I am not going to lie,” Kerry told Channel Seven.
“When you miss the first jump you kind of like, like a huge wave of disappointment hits you. So you try to forget about that.”
Kerry said he was happy to be part of an Australian team on the rise in winter sports.
“It is awesome … snow sports in Australia are really starting to pick up,” he said.
“The past four to eight years, we have always had some amazing athletes but to have, like, a big group of people that are constantly going out and getting results and to feel like I’m kind of a part of that movement in my sport is a pretty special feeling.”
-with ABC, AAP