Australia’s Olympic cross country skiers have found the blistering pace tough going at the sprint free event in the mountains of Zhangjiakou.
None were able to advance beyond the first qualification round.
In the women’s event, Jessica Yeaton finished 52nd, which came after placing an impressive 31st on Saturday in the 15km skiathlon.
Casey Wright came across the line in 65th, with Swedish world champion Jonna Sundling leading the field in the 1.2km dash as the top 30 moved through to the quarter-finals.
The first Australian man home was triple Olympian Phil Bellingham in 50th, with conditions perfect for the medal races later on Tuesday night.
Frenchman Lucas Chanavat was first home in the men’s 1.4km race.
Bellingham was quickly followed by Vik Lars Young in 55th, while Sydney teenager Hugo Hinckfuss was 61st, and Seve de Campo crossed the line in 63rd.
The skiers will have further chances in the 10km (women) and 15km (men) classic events and an Australian entry in the team sprint.
AMERICAN SETS NEW WORLD RECORD
Nathan Chen flipped, whirled and even punched his way to a world-record score in the men’s figure skating short program at the Beijing Olympics.
Next up for the Salt Lake City native: an expected and long-awaited coronation as Olympic champion.
Chen made history in a historic venue on Tuesday, crushing the world record with a score of 113.97 at Capital Indoor Stadium, site of the 1971 ping pong diplomacy matches between the United States and China.
Chen shined on a day when the U.S. women’s hockey team lost 4-2 to rival Canada in the preliminary round and San Francisco native Eileen Gu brushed aside a torrent of hate on social media and won the gold medal in freeski big air while representing China.
Dressed in his typical, suave black-and-white suit, Chen performed perhaps his favourite program to La Boheme, the 1960s standard by the French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour. When it was over, he had confidently made up for his poor short program four years at the Pyeongchang Games.
Opening with a perfect quad flip, the 22-year-old Chen breezed through his often-vexing triple axel and then drilled his quad flip-triple toe loop combination. He skated to a stop and, in a rare show of emotion, punched the air with his right fist.
“I was just elated,” Chen said. “At the last Olympics, both of the short programs didn’t go the way I wanted. To finally get an opportunity to skate the programs I wanted feels really good.”
Chen’s score was nearly two points more than the previous world record set by two-time defending Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu. To win the gold medal, Chen needs to hold off Japanese rivals Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno in Thursday’s free skate. Hanyu finished eighth Tuesday.