With a well-executed full double full full in the qualification round, the Australian Institute of Sport / Victorian Institute of Sport athlete advanced to the final 12.
In the next round Morris elected to repeat the same jump from the qualification session, however, he was unable to advance any further, falling short by just a handful of points from making the event’s second final, which decides medal places among the top four athletes.
The event was won by won by China’s Liu Zhongqing, Anton Kushnir from Belarus was second and third place went to China’s Jia Zonbgyang.
In analysing his performance, Morris, who finished last season as the World number two, said that fifth place was a reasonable result at this stage of the season.
Morris said he experienced an indifferent preparation to this event.
“This was a fair spot for me to end in with the way that I jumped. It would have been nice to have a shot at the medals though,” he said.
“As it’s the start of the season, I’m still building the confidence. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do really well like last season but I now realise that I need to work at it and start from the start and do nice jumps.
“As long as my confidence is high, I don’t worry about the season. The results play out on their own. I just do the jumps that I do and the rest is up to the judges.”
Morris and the rest of the Australian squad have less than a week to prepare for the next round, which is being staged in Beijing’s famous Bird Nest arena, which was the centrepiece to the 2008 summer Olympic Games.
Fellow AIS / VIS scholarship holder Laura Peel was also pleased with her start to the season.
Peel used a full full jump in the qualification round, which saw her advance to the final eight, but her day ended in that round, leaving her in sixth place overall.
China’s Li Nina recorded a victory, followed by American Ashley Caldwell in second, while China Xu Sicun took the other podium place.
Peel was also satisfied with her performance and believes her results will improve as the season progresses.
“I was happy with my jumps. It’s the start of the season and I’m only getting going. I don’t want to peak too early,” Peel said.
Peel expects to introduce more difficult jumps to her repertoire after the Beijing event next weekend.
AIS / VIS athlete Danielle Scott used a more difficult jump than last season, a double full full, which earned her 11th place.
Scott was pleased with the outcome given that today was the first time she had used the jump in competition and has only performed it on four previous occasions.
The new jump is part of Scott’s strategy to implement more difficult jumps to give herself a better opportunity of elevating her ranking.
Reigning Olympic Champion Lydia Lassila had a day she wants to forget. She finished in 19th place, due to breaking a ski on landing, preventing her from earning enough points from the qualification round.
AIS / VIS athletes Samantha Wells and Renee McElduff finished 17th and 24th respectively.