Armenian Weekly sports correspondent Antranig Dereyan reports from Vancouver.
The ladies’ slalom kicked off at 10 a.m. as a field of 87 took to the track. The conditions were not as hazardous as the giant slalom, but were still difficult to maneuver through.
The pace was set by German skier Maria Riesch, who took only 50:75 to finish the course. As the day went along and the competitors did their runs, only the skiers with bibs 1-9 (Riesch, bib 5) battled for the lead heading into the second run.
Uzbekistani skier Kseniya Grigoreva, wearing bib 83, took to the track but dropped, which lead to Armenian Ani-Matilda Serebrakian to face the mountain.
In her final event of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, Serebrakian broke out of the gate and one-by-one took down the poles. Down the hill she came and finished the race. Though off the pace, her body language revealed her enthusiasm for getting to the bottom of the hill uninjured and upright.
The enthusiasm wouldn’t last long, however. After her finish, it was announced that Serebrakian had been disqualified from the event. As the day ended, she would be last, as one of only two skiers disqualified (the other was Kristen McGarry of Ireland).
The Vancouver2010.com website lists “Serebrakian, DSQ,” but does not state the reason. To fully understand the reason, one needs to do some research.
Thanks to BBC Sports and other website following the alpine skiing events, they list DSQ, but with the rule “B2 1.2” next to the name, which means Serebrakian was disqualified for equipment. The International Ski Federation’s rulebook (www.fis-ski.com/data/document/edition2009_nov.pdf) states that the length and width of the skis must meet specific requirements, with a “tolerance” of minus or plus 1 c.m. If not, then that athlete can be disqualified from the event.
What happened is simple: Upon completion of the run, an official measured Serebrakian’s skis and found them to be in violation, hence disqualifying her from the event. The exact details have not yet been released to the public, but it does have to do with the measurements of her equipment.
The final event for Team Armenia was on Sat. Feb. 27 at 10 a.m, with Arsen Nersisyan in the men’s slalom, looking to end on a high note—for himself (he fell in the giant slalom) and his team.