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Winter Olympics 2018: Controversy as David Morris fails to make aerials final

PyeongChang: Aerial skier David Morris has refused to use a judging controversy as an excuse for his failure to make the Winter Olympics final.

The Australian finished in 10th place, one spot outside of the penultimate round in PyeongChang on Sunday.

David Morris flies high. Photo: AP

Sochi silver medallist Morris had a slightly sloppy landing on his opening quad twisting triple somersault but scored 111.95 and seemed likely to progress, needing one more skier to drop out.

The controversy came when China's Jia Zongyang (118.55) botched his landing but was ruled to have done so outside the four-metre zone where it counted.

"I thought I was in when I saw him crash," Morris said.

"When I saw the score come up I was surprised by it. When I asked my coach, he went up to the judges and questioned them on it.

"They've given him four metres of controlled skiing, which is what you need after a landing … they sort of discounted the last part because it's not part of the jump.

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"Unfortunately you can't really argue against it because it's the rules."

Australian aerial skier David Morris.
Australian aerial skier David Morris. Photo: AAP

But retiring two-time aerials medallist Lydia Lassila believed Morris was hard done by.

"He (Jia) was not in control on that landing, then he fell over. So 118 for that, I'm in disbelief. It's really unfortunate," Lassila told the Seven Network."

Jia made the most of his luck to claim silver, behind the Ukraine's Oleksandr Abramenko while Ilia Burov won bronze under the Olympic Athlete From Russia banner.

With Australia's women also failing to reach the podium, PyeongChang is the first Olympics since Nagano in 1998 the country has not collected an aerials medal.

Morris, who came into the Games as his mother battles cancer, showed his potential to back up from four years ago in qualifications when he scored 124.89 points in repechage with a neat quad-twisting triple-somersault.

He had planned to attempt a quin-twisting triple somersault in the final – a jump only three others in the field are thought to possess.

AAP

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SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

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