BOBSLED: Holcomb Ties for Silver in Men's Four-Man Bobsled World Cup in Koenigssee, Germany
KOENIGSSEE, Germany-Defending World Cup Champion Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) climbed back from an uncharacteristic three-week medal drought in Europe to tie for the silver medal today in the men's four-man bobsled World Cup in Koenigssee, Germany. Holcomb teamed with his powerhouse push squad of Pavle Jovanovic (Tom's River, N.J.), Steve Mesler (Calgary, Alberta) and Brock Kreitzburg (Akron, Ohio) for a push time of 4.88 seconds, fourth fastest of the first heat. Piloting his Bo-Dyn sled down the difficult course, Holcomb finished the first heat 0.17 seconds from the leader, reigning Olympic Champion Andre Lange, with a time of 48.55 seconds. Sitting in fifth entering the second heat, Holcomb remained composed and focused on the podium. USA I powered off the block with another 4.88 push time, fourth best of the heat, for a time of 48.54 seconds. The team stood at the finish and watched as their combined time of 1:37.09 surpassed two sleds. With only two sleds remaining, the Americans were guaranteed a medal. European two-man Champion Alexander Zubkov teamed with Roman Oreshnikov, Dmitry Trunenkov and Dmitry Stepushkin for the fastest push times of the competition, a 4.83 and 4.82. The Russian team crossed the line with an identical combined time as the Americans, a 1:37.09, after a first run of 48.52 and a second run of 48.57. The two teams stood together as the Olympic Champion took the last run of the race, waiting to see if their tied combined time would be for the gold or silver. Olympic Champion Lange teamed with Rene Hoppe, Kevin Kuske and Alexander Metzger for a push time of 4.83 seconds, just 0.01 seconds from the fastest time of the day. The German squad matched Holcomb's splits, crossing the line with an identical second heat time of 48.54 seconds. Lange's team claimed the gold with a two-run total of 1:36.92, just 0.17 seconds from Zubkov and Holcomb. After today's competition, Zubkov has a two-point lead over Lange in four-man standings with 1383 points. Pierre Lueders from Canada is third with 1345, followed closely by Holcomb with 1342. Lange leads in Combined standings with 2862 points. Lueders is second with 2650, Zubkov is third with 2584, and Holcomb is fourth leading into the World Cup finale with 2545 points. Mike Kohn (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) missed the top ten by 0.03 seconds today, finishing 11th with a combined time of 1:37.77. Teamed with Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.), TJ Burns (Blue Bell, Pa.) and Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.), USA III pushed start times of 4.93 and 4.96. Kohn piloted a first run time of 48.96 seconds, 16th best of the heat, and drove up five positions into 11th after driving the ninth best time of the second heat of 48.81 seconds. In preparation for Junior World Championships next weekend in Igls, Austria, John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) teamed with his junior squad of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Jacob Miller (Waterford, Va.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah). Team USA II pushed start times of 5.01 and 5.02 for finish times of 49.10 and 48.98, respectively. Napier and team finished in 18th with a two-run total of 1:38.08. The teams were unavailable for comment as they prepare for the team competition at 8:30 am EST before departing to Winterberg, Germany for the final World Cup stop from Feb. 4-10. Don't miss the action LIVE and On-Demand as the teams battle for the overall title on NBCOlympics.com. For complete results of today's race, visit www.bobsleigh.com, the Web site of the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganning (FIBT). Results: 1. Lange, Hoppe, Kuske and Metzger (GER I) 1:36.92 (48.38, 48.54); 2. Zubkov, Oreshnikov, Trunenkov and Stepushkin (RUS I) 1:37.09 (48.53, 48.57); 2. Holcomb, Jovanovic, Mesler and Kreitzburg (USA I) 1:37.09 (48.55, 48.54);_11. Kohn, Tomasevicz, Burns and Langton (USA III) 1:37.77 (48.96, 48.81);_18. Napier, Olsen, Miller, Fogt (USA II) 1:38.08 (49.10, 48.98); About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: Allianz Life, Columbia Sportswear Company, Speedo, CW-X, KBC Helmets, ULU Boots, Racing Electronics, Schenker Logistics, Lumber Liquidators and Whelen Engineering. For more information, please visit the USBSF Web site at www.usbsf.com.