Bronze goes to Oskars Melbardis/Janis Strenga of Latvia
PyeongChang (RWH): For the second time in Olympic history, there is not one but two Olympic champions in the 2-man bobsleigh. At the end of four heats at the Olympic Sliding Centre in PyeongChang (KOR), Francesco Friedrich/Thorsten Margis (GER) and Justin Kripps/Alexander Kopacz (CAN) were tied right down to the hundredth of a second.
With their Olympic victory, Kripps/Kopacz claimed Canada’s second ever gold in the 2-man bobsleigh, which comes 20 years after Pierre Lueders’ and David MacEachern’s win in Nagano (JPN) in 1998. The Nagano Olympics also saw a tie for first place in the 2-man event, with the Canadians sharing gold with Günther Huber/Antonio Tartaglia (ITA).
Friedrich/Margis secured the German Olympic team’s tenth gold medal at the PyeongChang Games. This means that the Germans have now won a total of 20 Olympic medals in the 2-man bobsleigh since 1932, including eight golds.
Bronze in the 2-man bobsleigh at the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang was awarded to Oskars Melbardis/Janis Strenga of Latvia (0.05 seconds back).
The PyeongChang Olympic Sliding Centre thus remains the backdrop for guaranteed sporting drama. At the end of the first day of racing, less than two tenths of a second separated the first three teams, while the gap fell to just 0.09 seconds ahead of the final heat. For the medallists, the result came down to just five hundredths of a second.
In front of several thousand excited spectators, local heroes Yunjong Won/Joungwoo Seo (KOR) ended the Olympic 2-man bobsleigh event in sixth place. ©RWH2018
Justin Kripps (CAN, 2018 Olympic Champion, runner-up in the 2017 World Championships, overall World Cup winner in 2018)
“Joint gold medallists – that means two extra people are as happy as we are right now! Francesco put down a great time and it was clear that the result would be close. We have been competitors and friends for so many years and I couldn’t be happier.”
Francesco Friedrich (GER, 2018 Olympic Champion, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 World Champion)
“In front of so many spectators, today simply could not have been any more exciting. We really messed up yesterday and things then got stressful. Overnight, I kept going over and over curve two so I didn’t get much rest. We were also really good at the start; without that, I don’t think we would have made it.”
Oskars Melbardis (LAT, 2018 Olympic bronze medallist, runner-up in the 2015 World Championships, overall World Cup winner in 2015)
“We are really happy with the bronze medal. The first two runs weren’t that great but everything went a lot better today. It was an unbelievably close race and a fight right to the end!”