BOBSLED: Kohn Sixth in St. Moritz Two-Man Bobsled World Cup; Holcomb Struggles, Finishing 17th
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland- Mike Kohn (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), 2002 Olympic bronze medalist, finished sixth in the two-man bobsled World Cup competition today in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Defending World Cup Champion Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) struggled today, finishing 17th."It's been a rough few weeks, but everybody has their setbacks,"Holcomb said."I'm still a young driver in terms of experience, so it's bound to happen. I just have to stay focused, and keep going. As soon as you let it get to you is when you lose."Kohn teamed with first year push athlete Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) for his best finish since the 2005-06 season, when Kohn claimed silver in the Lake Placid, N.Y. two-man World Cup. Kohn has struggled with persistent injuries since straining his calf muscle at World Championships last season in St. Moritz, a result of complications from compartment syndrome. The duo pushed start times of 5.28 and 5.30, ninth and tenth best of the competition, respectively. Piloting USA II down the 1,722-meter track, Kohn slid into second position after the first heat with a run of 1:06.98 seconds, reaching a top speed of 141.5 km/h."Because it's a natural track, they have to build it from scratch every year,"Holcomb said."Therefore, it's always a little different, making this track very unique. There is no refrigeration, so the ice is like really hard packed snow. As the sun comes up, the ice starts to get warmer and faster."Kohn slid a consistent second run of 1:07.02 seconds, but it wasn't enough to maintain his position against home track competitor Ivo Rueegg, who took silver in last season's World Championships in St. Moritz. Kohn slid a two-run total of 2:14.00, finishing sixth, just 0.30 seconds from the podium. Reigning Olympic Champion Andre Lange teamed with Martin Putze for the gold after sliding the two fastest times of the competition. The team clocked runs of 1:06.88 and 1:06.47 for a combined time of 2:13.35. Rueegg again claimed silver on his home track with brakeman Cedric Grand, finishing with a total time of 2:13.55 after sliding runs of 1:07.01 and 1:06.54. Taking bronze was Canada's Pierre Lueders and Lascelles Brown, finishing in 2:13.70 (1:07.20, 1:06.50). Holcomb teamed again with Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.), who took a hiatus from pushing sleds on the World Cup circuit to take his turn at driving in the America's Cup. Team USA I pushed an identical 5.36 seconds in both heats, 18th best of the competition."I'm still not feeling 100% after pulling my groin in Cesana,"Holcomb said."But I'm up to around 85%, and I'm feeling better every day."Holcomb slid into 19th position after a first run time of 1:07.65 seconds. The team drew third start position in today's race."Unfortunately, we struggled with our draw,"Holcomb said."The track literally gets faster with every sled."Although the team improved with a time of 1:07.12 seconds in the second run, it was only enough to move the team up two positions into 17th with a combined time of 2:14.77."It's better to get it out of the way now so that we can learn from our mistakes,"said Holcomb."That way we aren't in a rut trying to get out in an Olympic year."Junior athletes John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and Jacob Miller (Waterford, Va.) teamed together as USA III, tying team USA I in the start with a push time of 5.36 seconds in the first heat. Napier and Miller finished 23rd with a time of 1:07.79 seconds. Only the top 20 sleds are given a second heat. The four-man bobsled competition will take place in St. Moritz tomorrow at 3 am EST. Check out the action LIVE and On-Demand on NBCOlympics.com. For complete results of today's race, please visit www.bobsleigh.com, the Web site of the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganning (FIBT). Results: 1. Andre Lange and Martin Putze (GER) 2:13.35 (1:06.88, 1:06.47); 2. Ivo Rueegg and Cedric Grand (SUI) 2:13.55 (1:07.01, 1:06.54); 3. Pierre Lueders and Lascelles Brown (CAN) 2:13.70 (1:07.20, 1:06.50);_6. Mike Kohn and Steve Langton (USA) 2:14.00 (1:06.98, 1:07.02);_17. Steven Holcomb and Curt Tomasevicz (USA) 2:14.77 (1:07.65, 1:07.12); 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, CW-X, KBC Helmets, ULU Boots, Racing Electronics, Schenker Logistics, Speedo and Whelen Engineering. For more information, please visit the USBSF Web site at www.usbsf.com.