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VANCOUVER, BC– Though he finished 79th in the men’s giant slalom and took almost 45 seconds more than the winner to complete his two runs down the mountain, February 23 was still a historic day for Muhammad Abbas and Pakistani sports.
He officially became Pakistan’s first representative in the Winter Olympics.
In his sole event — the men’s giant slalom — Abbas completed two runs down the mountain in a combined three minutes and 20 seconds, placing him ahead of only two other competitors. Still, it was a success for Abbas to complete the event, given that 22 other competitors did not finish the race because of missed gates or falls.
Four Central Asians competed in the event, as well. Igor Zakurdaev of Kazakhstan led the group, finishing 51st. Tajikistan’s Andrey Drygin finished 57th, while Kyrgyzstan’s Dmitry Trelevski and Uzbekistan’s Oleg Shamaev finished 76th and 77th.
In speed skating, Kazakhstan’s Dmitry Babenko did not finish the men’s 10,000m final, ending any chance for the country to win its first medal in speed skating.
Uzbek figure skater Anastasia Gimazetdinova ended the women’s short programme in 24th place, going into the free skate February 25.
The only other event for Central Asia that day will be the women’s cross-country 4x5km combined relay.