Australian officials says Dale Begg-Smith deserved moguls gold
AUSTRALIAN winter sports officials have accused judges of costing Dale Begg-Smith of a second Olympic moguls title at the expense of Canadian gold medallist Alexandre Bilodeau.
HARD DONE BY: Australian winter sports officials believe Dale Begg-Smith was hard done by with the judges' scores in the men's moguls final (Getty Images)
Bilodeau secured Canada's first gold medal of Vancouver 2010 with a stunning run, collecting 26.75 points - 0.17 ahead of Begg-Smith, who claimed gold in Turin four years ago.
The curse of the Olympics moguls title struck again as Vancouver-born Begg-Smith became the latest in a long line to fail to defend his crown, just as Canada's Jennifer Heil had 24 hours previously.
But Geoff Lipshut, Olympic Winter Institute of Australia chief executive is convinced the judges got it wrong.
"My own opinion is that probably Alex is not capable of a 4.8 or a 4.9 (on his turns), because five is a perfect score," Lipshut told Queensland's Courier-Mail.
"Dale had the highest turn points and the highest air points and he skied unbelievably and I don't think you can fault anything he did. I thought Dale won, but that's just a gut feeling."
Begg-Smith had disappointed in qualifying and only managed fourth place but he produced a stunning run in the final, scoring 14.2 for his turns, 5.43 in the air marks and 7.21 for his time.
Bilodeau meanwhile, collected scored of 14.1, 5.44 and 7.21 to edge out his Australian rival, but Begg-Smith's coach Steve Desovich admitted believes his man deserved gold.
In the aftermath of his silver medal, Begg-Smith was gracious in defeat and was full of praise for Bilodeau.
"I ski the way I want to ski, that's all I can control. I had a lot of good runs today. I skied as well as I could," he said.
"For everyone out there it was special, there was no favouritism.
"I think it's great that Canada won. The crowd was happy. They went crazy."