The 22-year-old Australian Institute of Sport / NSW Institute of Sport athlete set up a solid performance in the last freestyle skiing test event in Sochi by recording convincing wins in the round of 32 and a quarter final before finishing fourth in a semi-final.
With only the first two places from the semis qualifying for the final, Grimus had to be content with a place in the consolation final, in which he was fourth, ending the day in eight place overall.
The result enabled Grimus to retain his world ranking of 13.
The event, the ninth round on this season’s World Cup tour, was won by Swede Victor Oehling Norberg, Canadian Christopher Delbosco was second while German Andreas Schauer was third.
Grimus finished the Olympic test event full of confidence and with a number of areas to focus on for the rest of the World Cup season and to create a place in the Australian Winter Olympics team competing in Sochi next year.
Several of his World Cup results this season, and particularly his impressive qualifying time today, have encouraged the Australian to look to next February’s Sochi Games with optimism.
“I can be confident that a medal is within reach,” Grimus said.
“I’ve have had a few good results this season and I’ve got things to work on. It’s good knowing that I have room for improvement.”
While winning his first two races of the day was encouraging, perhaps the highlight of his appearance in Sochi was the way he revelled in the fresh overnight snow with the second fastest qualifying time, stopping the clock at 1:18.49, just 0.38 of a second slower than today’s overall winner.
Grimus said he was “stoked, really happy” with the qualifying result.
“The last four weeks have been tough with qualifying. I knew I had it in me,” he added.
“I definitely feel I have improved but I wasn’t on the podium today so there is definitely room for further improvement.”
Australia’s number one male ski cross athlete, Scott Kneller, who has helped with the mentoring of Grimus, joined his protégé in the knock-out finals after qualifying in 26th place.
But Kneller fell at the last bank in his first final while pushing hard for the lead, which cost him the opportunity to advance to the quarter finals. Kneller finished the day in 28th place.
Katya Crema was the day’s leading Australian woman, finishing in 11th place after showing a clean pair of skis to her opponents in the round of 32.
Unfortunately for the AIS / NSWIS skier, her winning ways did not continue and she finished the day when she placed third in the quarters.
AIS /NSWIS athlete Sami Kennedy-Sim made it four out of four Australian ski cross squad members to qualify for the finals, which emphasised the determination the squad has shown while in Sochi to turn around a difficult few weeks on the tour.
Kennedy Sim’s appearance in the finals gave her a 27th place overall.
The fifth squad member, Jenny Owens, did not start due to soreness.
The women’s event was a one-two finish for Canadians Kelsey Serwa and Marielle Thompson, with Switzerland’s Fanny Smith in third.