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Holcomb and Langton edged out of two-man medals
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 21, 2012)–Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) were edged out of the medals in an exciting contest for gold in today’s two-man bobsled World Cup race. USA-1 was on the brink of moving into the top three, but fell short by one-tenth of a second in fourth position.
“Everybody appreciates a good race,” Holcomb said. “The weather cooperated today, and it’s more fun when sleds are fighting for spots and shuffling around. Unfortunately, I made some little mistakes that cost us some time, so we didn’t shuffle the way I would have liked.”
Holcomb and Langton powered the Under Armour sled off the block in 5.20 seconds to give the team momentum on the challenging natural made course. USA-1’s first run of 1:07.83 was matched by Russian pilot Alexander Zubkov for fourth position in a fierce battle for the medals.
“I drove really well, the sled was running well and Langton did a great job,” Holcomb said. “I knew it was going to come down to how I drove, because you can’t count on a champion like Zubkov to make a mistake.”
Germany’s Manuel Machata laid down an impeccable second run that both Holcomb and Zubkov were unable to match. Just when it looked like USA-1 was pushed out of the medals, Canadian Lyndon Rush fell back three spots and opened the door for a podium position.
Swiss athletes Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter responded by pulling ahead of the field with a combined time of 2:14.67 to secure silver for the host nation. Maximilian Arndt and Marko Huebenbecker were on the verge of falling back, but Arndt found speed midway down the course to snag the victory by 0.16 seconds. Machata ended up third with a total time of 2:14.94, while USA-1’s aggregate time of 2:15.04 kept the team in fourth.
“I was disappointed,” Holcomb said. “I tied my personal best on this track, but I don’t like that we’re still chasing the medals.”
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) clocked a total time of 2:16.28 for 16th place in the Alamo sled. USA-2 posted starts of 5.31 and 5.37 seconds for runs of 1:08.40 and 1:07.88 seconds, respectively. Despite not having any glaring errors, Napier was unable to find speed and looked disappointed after crossing the finish outside of the top 10.
The European portion of the World Cup tour will wrap up with the four-man bobsled race tomorrow morning before teams head to North America. USA-1 and USA-2 will opt out of the Canadian races to gain extra training time on the 2012 World Championship track in Lake Placid, N.Y.
“We need to dial it in and nail it tomorrow,” Holcomb said. “We have to step it up and make things perfect, because the next time we compete it’ll be World Championships. We’ve been fast in four-man training, so I expect us to be in the medals.”
Watch the St. Moritz events LIVE by visiting www.fibt.com. Universal Sports will also broadcast the events with commentary and interviews on one-week delay. Programs will air Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 6 pm EST.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Maximilian Arndt and Marko Huebenbecker (GER) 2:14.51 (1:07.59, 1:06.92); 2. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter (SUI) 2:14.67 (1:07.67, 1:07.00); 3. Manuel Machata and Andreas Bredau (GER) 2:14.94 (1:07.93, 1:07.01); 4. Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton (USA) 2:15.04 (1:07.83, 1:07.21);…16. John Napier and Chris Fogt (USA) 2:16.28 (1:08.40, 1:07.88);
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.