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Team Olsen top Americans in Winterberg’s four-man bobsled World Cup; Meyers Taylor races with all-women’s crew
WINTERBERG, Germany (Dec. 15, 2018)– Justin Olsen(San Antonio, Texas), Blaine McConnell(Tacoma, Wash.), Adrian Adams(Reidsville, N.C.) and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor(Powhatan, Va.) were the top American finishers in today’s four-man bobsled World Cup in Winterberg, Germany with a 16th place finish. In only her fifth four-man bobsled World Cup start of her career, Elana Meyers Taylor(Douglasville, Ga.) and her all-women’s push crew of Tiffeny Parker (Moreno Valley, Calif.), Nicole Brungardt(Norfolk, Neb.) and Jessica Davis(Gardena, Calif.) finished 19th. This is the first time Meyers Taylor has raced a four-man bobsled World Cup with an all-women’s crew.
“I think today was good,” Olsen said. “It was a growth week. We changed some stuff up and we’re figuring things out. That second run got a little airy at the bottom and I’m happy we crossed the finish line on all four runners.”
Olsen, McConnell, Adams and Abdul-Saboor powered off the start block in 5.13 seconds, and Olsen piloted his sled to the finish in 54.83 seconds for 12th position. The crew combined forces for a second run start time of 5.15 seconds, and Olsen had trouble with the 10-11-12-curve combination, nearly causing the sled to flip. The team made it to the finish in 55.22 seconds, dropping them back four spots into 16th with a combined time of 1:50.05.
“We nailed that combination in the first run, so I know we’re capable of it,” Olsen said. “I don’t know if the sled got away from me or if I came in late and didn’t realize it. We’ll look at video tonight and figure it out.”
Olsen had been dividing his attention between online college coursework and sliding, and he said he needs 100 more points in his class before he gets to graduate. Olsen said he’s looking forward to finishing school so he can fully focus on training and competing again.
“Balancing everything is not my favorite thing to do, but I made a decision to do both,” Olsen said. “I’m not worrying too much about it anymore.”
Just hours earlier, Meyers Taylor and Lake Kwaza claimed the women’s bobsled World Cup bronze medal. After a brief break, Meyers Taylor was back at the start for another two race runs. She and Parker, Brungardt and Davis pushed the sled off the block in 5.65 and 5.70 seconds for runs of 56.14 and 56.27 seconds, respectively. The crew clocked a total time of 1:52.51 in the Under Armour-branded sled for 19th place.
McConnell from Olsen’s sled and Davis from Meyers Taylor’s sled made their World Cup debuts today. McConnell has an athletic background in Crossfit, while Davis is an accomplished track and field athlete.
Team Germany swept the medals. Nico Walther, Paul Krenz, Alexander Roediger and Eric Franke were victorious in 1:48.61. Francesco Friedrich, Jannis Baecker, Martin Grothkopp and Alexander Schuller were just 0.07 seconds behind to claim silver in 1:48.68. Johannes Lochner, Florian Bauer, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp posted the fastest time of the second heat to complete the German sweep of the medals with a total time of 1:48.83.
Olsen and Meyers Taylor will get another chance to race in a second four-man bobsled race tomorrow. The competition begins at 11:30 a.m. local time/5:30 a.m. EST, and will stream live on the OlympicChannel.com and NBCSports.com/live.
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1. Nico Walther, Paul Krenz, Alexander Roediger and Eric Franke (GER) 1:48.61 (54.24, 54.37);
2. Francesco Friedrich, Jannis Baecker, Martin Grothkopp and Alexander Schuller (GER) 1:48.68 (54.26, 54.42);
3. Johannes Lochner, Florian Bauer, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp (GER) 1:48.83 (54.48, 54.35);
16. Justin Olsen, Blaine McConnell, Adrian Adams and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (USA) 1:50.05 (54.83, 55.22);
19. Elana Meyers Taylor, Tiffeny Parker, Nicole Brungardt and Jessica Davis (USA) 1:52.51 (56.14, 56.37);
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USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Thorne Research, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com.