News ID: 100166
Publish Date : 19 February 2022 - 22:09

Briton Musgrave Blasts ‘Ridiculous’ Decision to Shorten Olympic Race

BEIJING (AFP) - British
cross-country skier Andrew Musgrave savaged the “absolutely ridiculous” decision to slash the men’s 50-kilometre mass start event to 30km because of freezing winds at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday.
Temperatures plunged to minus 17 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) for the shortened race, but Musgrave was less than impressed by the change after finishing 12th.
“I thought it was a ridiculous decision,” said the 31-year-old.
“If it’s warm enough to race then I don’t see why doing an hour and a quarter or 30km, compared to two hours in the 50km, makes it any better.
“It’s still the same temperature; it’s still the same wind, so I thought it was an absolutely ridiculous decision.”
Organizers blamed “strong winds” for the change to the length of the race, but Musgrave said: “I haven’t got a clue why they did it. To be honest, I don’t know what they were thinking. Seems a little bit strange to me.”
Alexander Bolshunov won gold, his third of the Beijing Games, ahead of his fellow Russian Ivan Yakimushkin.
Yakimushkin called it “the right decision” to make the race 30km.
“It was a unanimous decision by all the teams to shorten it due to the weather conditions so that the athletes would not freeze or come down with serious illnesses after this race,” he said.