Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
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Holcomb and Langton claim silver in two-man
LA PLAGNE, France (Dec. 10, 2011)-Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) teamed with Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) to continue his climb in two-man bobsled standings by earning silver in La Plagne today. Holcomb slid a bronze medal performance with Justin Olsen last weekend to end his two-year medal drought in two-man racing, and he’s hoping to continue his ascent to gold next week.
“I was tired of losing in two-man,” Holcomb said. “I plan on being in the hunt for gold next week, because it feels good to be back in the medals.”
Holcomb is best known for his ability to steer his four-man sled to victory after winning the 2009 World Championship and 2010 Olympic titles. Now that he’s got four-man dialed in, Holcomb is ready to start concentrating on reigning in some two-man medals.
“We’ve always been in the mix, but a top three result has been difficult to capture,” Holcomb said. “We’ve focused so much on perfecting four-man, and now we’re in a position to focus on two-man. I have three push athletes that can help push me to excellent starts every week. It’s a win-win-win no matter who’s in my sled.”
This week it was Langton who powered the Under Armour sled off the block to push times of 5.85 and 5.88 seconds to keep USA-1 in the mix. The start record fell several times during the competition, but Langton and Holcomb kept the field within reach from the get-go.
“I felt really happy with how today went,” Langton said. “I told Holcomb that if we’re bummed about coming in second, we’re in a pretty good place. It’s really a team effort between all four of us on USA-1, because any one of us is capable of winning a medal. Our goal is to medal in both disciplines every week, and so far we’re holding up our end of the bargain.”
Holcomb and Langton were within reach of gold after a first run of 59.48 seconds, but a small mistake in the second run cost the crew valuable time. Holcomb said he ran the sled too far at the start, which hurt their velocity.
“It’s our first time on this track, so you live and learn,” Holcomb said. “These guys we’re competing against are at the top of their game, so you can’t expect to win by making mistakes.
“But I would like to point out that Brian Shimer and Herschel Walker pushed a start time of 6.07 seconds in the 1992 Olympics here. I just wanted to make sure you knew that; you know, point out where the sport was and where we are now,” Holcomb said jokingly.
The crew clocked a total time of 1:58.85 to finish second to Germany-1. Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske were tough to catch today. Florschuetz and Kuske busted off the block with a record-breaking start in the first run and USA-1 was just 0.09 seconds from their lead. The Germans extended their advantage to 0.35 seconds in the second heat to claim gold with an aggregate time of 1:58.50.
Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter took advantage of their speed off the block to finish just behind the Americans in third with a combined time of 1:58.91. Latvia-1 set a start record of 5.73 seconds in the second run, but costly mistakes down the track put the team in ninth.
Soldier- athletes John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) raced to 11th place in the Alamo Rent A Car sled with a combined time of 1:59.78. With many teams breaking the start record today, USA-2 was playing catch-up from the time they left the block with push times of 6.03 and 6.02 seconds. Napier ran out of track before he could gain back enough time to climb into the top 10.
“Chris had to push a heavy sled today due to my weight loss and having a cold this week, so I’m proud of him and his efforts in the back of the sled,” Napier said. “Four-man is tomorrow and team Napier is aiming its sights on a better finish. We will never quit and never accept defeat.
“We also all had and will have Lenny on our minds and in our prayers throughout this weekend,” Napier said. Lenny Kasten, the national team general manager, was hospitalized for high blood pressure last night.
The La Plagne event will wrap up with four-man bobsled racing tomorrow morning. Don’t miss the action by watching live streaming from France on www.FIBT.com.
“Hello to everyone that’s been up watching,” Holcomb said. “Thanks for cheering us on. Hopefully tomorrow will prove to be just as exciting.”
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske (GER) 1:58.50 (59.39, 59.11); 2. Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton (USA) 1:58.85 (59.48, 59.37); 3. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter (SUI) 1:58.91 (59.53, 59.38);…11. John Napier and Chris Fogt (USA) 1:59.78 (1:00.02, 59.76);
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: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.