Bascue sits in sled powered by Abdul-Saboor for 17th place finish

Jan. 05, 2019, 12:58 p.m. (ET)


Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250,



Bascue sits in sled powered by Abdul-Saboor for 17th place finish

ALTENBERG, Germany (Jan. 5, 2019)With limited experience on one of the world’s most difficult tracks and a pilot hampered with a minor injury, USA Bobsled Head Coach Mike Kohn prepared the men’s team to enter the week in Altenberg as a training opportunity for the 2020 World Championships, which will be hosted on the German track next season. Codie Bascue(Whitehall, N.Y.), nursing a left calf injury, sat in the sled at the start line today. Hakeem Abdul-Saboor(Powhatan, Va.) powered Bascue in the BMW sled, and the duo finished 17th. Justin Olsen(San Antonio, Texas), who has never driven the Altenberg track before this week, and Adrian Adams (Reidsville, N.C.) finished 19th.

“This year we gained experience on all of the tough tracks; Altenberg, Sigulda and Whistler,” said Kohn. “We aren’t going to be afraid of these tracks anymore. They aren’t treacherous. We will still respect them, but we will not fear them anymore. We’ll be back next year and we’ll be competitive. All of our drivers have executed well, and when we’re back we’ll have more experience, we’ll be healthy, and we’ll have the results we need.”

Bascue said they decided to play it safe this week, seating him in the sled at the start rather than have him push too soon and aggravate his healing calf. That meant Abdul-Saboor was the sole engine at the start.

“I went into this believing Hakeem could beat everyone at the start by himself, and he was close,” Bascue said. “He’s a rockstar.”

Abdul-Saboor clocked starts of 5.78 and 5.77 seconds, and Bascue navigated two smooth runs of 57.60 and 57.09 seconds. The duo finished 17th with a combined time of 1:54.69.

“It’s been nice to sit in and just focus on what I do well, which is drive the sled,” Bascue said. “It paid off, I had two really good runs today. We were even able to pick off a few sleds. I think laying that groundwork and saying at the beginning of the week that this was going to be training going into next year’s worlds really changed the mindset going in. Everyone was really supportive and bought into the idea, and we’re going to be well prepared when we’re back next year, when the results really matter.”

Olsen and Adams finished 19th in the Lake Placid 2021 World Championship branded BMW sled. The pair combined forces for start times of 5.36 and 5.44 seconds. Olsen made a series of small mistakes that added up by the finish, resulting in downtimes of 57.73 and 57.65 seconds for a total time of 1:55.38.

Though Olsen is the most veteran athlete on the team, the majority of his career was spent in the backseat. He’s never driven the Altenberg track in his young career as a pilot, and the last time he competed on the German course as a push athlete was in January 2015 as a member of Steven Holcomb’s four-man crew.

Germany’s Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis convincingly claimed gold by a margin of 0.37 seconds with a combined time of 1:52.19. Canadians Justin Kripps and Cameron Stones claimed silver in 1:52.56, followed by Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis of Latvia in third with a two-run total of 1:52.67.

The Altenberg World Cup will conclude with the four-man bobsled competition at 11:30 a.m. local time/5:30 a.m. EST tomorrow. Live streaming is available on and

For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at, or at (518) 354-2250. 


1. Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis (GER) 1:52.19 (56.38, 55.81);
2. Justin Kripps and Cameron Stones (CAN) 1:52.56 (56.30, 56.26);
3. Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis (LAT) 1:52.67 (56.37, 56.30);
17. Codie Bascue and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (USA) 1:54.69 (57.60, 57.09);
19. Justin Olsen and Adrian Adams (USA) 1:55.38 (57.73, 57.65);

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