Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Holcomb and Langton narrowly miss medals in two-man bobsled World Championships
Photo by John Nielson
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 27, 2013)- Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) will have to wait one more week before attempting to break his fourth place curse on the St. Moritz track. Holcomb and powerhouse brakeman Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) were in medal position after yesterday’s first two heats of the two-man bobsled World Championships, but finished just 0.08 seconds shy of bronze in a ferocious battle for the medals today.
“So much for breaking the fourth place curse,” Holcomb said. “It’s almost comical, because I’ve had four fourth place finishes on this track. I really wanted to break that trend.”
Six years ago Holcomb finished fourth in both the two-man and four-man bobsled World Championships in St. Moritz, and posted double fourth placed finishes again during the 2011 World Cup event. But this time Holcomb was the defending World Champion; he had set the bar high for himself, and was disappointed to finish short of his goal.
“I’m not the world champion anymore, or even a medalist, and it’s hard to say that,” Holcomb said. “Langton did his job, I did my job, but it just didn’t happen for us today.”
Holcomb and Langton maintained their third place position in the third heat after posting a finish time of 1:05.70, but not by much. German Thomas Florschuetz’s brakeman, Kevin Kuske, tore his hamstring yesterday, and Florschuetz’s chances at medaling were slim after finishing the first day of racing in sixth. Andreas Bredau replaced Kuske in the sled, and Florschuetz nestled the crew just 0.02 seconds behind USA-1 in today’s third heat.
Florschuetz and Breau threw down a time of 1:05.60 in the fourth heat, and the German crew waited nervously at the finish as the defending World Champions prepared to take their run. Holcomb and Langton blasted the new BMW prototype sled off the block in 5.07 seconds, and Holcomb piloted the team smoothly to the finish in 1:05.70. The Germans celebrated as USA-1’s combined time of 4:24.05 fell 0.08 seconds short of bronze.
“This was a good race,” Holcomb said. “That’s why I’m here, because I’m a competitor. But I expect to be that guy in the fourth quarter in the last play of the game that takes the last shot and wins. I expect to perform well and execute properly, and it’s disappointing that I couldn’t pull it off today.”
Holcomb will race in the team event this afternoon, and will have another shot at gold in next weekend’s four-man bobsled World Championships.
German Francesco Friedrich, 22, is the youngest pilot ever to win a two-man bobsled World Championship title. Friedrich teamed with Jannis Baecker to claim their first title by an impressive margin of 0.56 seconds with a four-run total of 4:22.78.
Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter gained some time on the leaders today, but it wasn’t enough to win on their home track. Hefti and Lamparter clocked a combined time of 4:23.34 for silver. Florschuetz and Bredau were third with an aggregate time of 4:23.97.
Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) posted their career best World Championship finish today after clocking a combined time of 4:24.81 for ninth. Butner’s last two-man bobsled World Championship result as a pilot was 25th two years ago in Koenigssee, Germany, while Fogt has never finished better than 16th in St. Moritz. The pair put forth a monumental effort today, and clocked their fastest start and finish times, 5.13 and 1:05.86, in the final run.
Soldier-athletes Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) wrapped up their 2013 World Championships in 13th with a four-run total time of 4:25.74. USA-3 lost velocity after a late load into the sled in the third heat, but Cunningham navigated a nearly perfect final run to gain one position.
World Championship racing continues today with the team event at 1:15 p.m. local time. Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker (GER) 4:22.78 (1:05.59, 1:05.51, 1:06.34, 1:05.34); 2. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter (SUI) 4:23.34 (1:05.79, 1:05.66, 1:06.32, 1:05.57); 3. Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske/Andreas Bredau (GER) 4:23.97 (1:06.17, 1:05.86, 1:06.34, 1:05.60); 4. Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton (USA) 4:24.05 (1:06.06, 1:05.81, 1:06.48, 1:05.70);…9. Cory Butner and Chris Fogt (USA) 4:24.81 (1:06.22, 1:05.97, 1:06.76, 1:05.86);…13. Nick Cunningham and Dallas Robinson (USA) 4:25.74 (1:06.44, 1:06.10, 1:06.82, 1:06.38);
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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, WIDIA, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.