Double gold: Germany’s Friedrich wins 4-man bobsled


Gold: Germany (Friedrich sled)

Silver: South Korea (Won sled)

Silver: Germany (Walther sled)

Two-man? Check. Four-man? Double check. Francesco Friedrich piloted his German sled to gold in the four-man bobsled, becoming the sixth pilot to win gold in both the two- and four-man bobsled in the same Olympics on the final day of competition in PyeongChang.

After tying with Canada’s Justin Kripps in two-man, Friedrich made no doubt in four-man, sliding to a dominant win. The German sled was clear of second by 0.53 seconds. And in second? Another tie on the bobsled course — just like the tie for gold in two-man. South Korea and Germany shared the silver medal.

South Korea’s medal was historic. Won Yun-Jong delivered for the home nation, bringing the country its first medal in the bobsled. Yun Sung-Bin won the country’s first medal in a sliding event by taking gold in skeleton earlier in the games. Germany’s Nico Walther piloted the sled that tied.

Codie Bascue piloted the top American sled to a ninth-place finish. Nick Cunningham and Justin Olsen improved in Runs 3 and 4 to finish 19th and 20th, respectively.

The ice was warmer than it had been throughout the competition and humidity was high. That slowed the competition, especially with the ice deteriorating as the competition wore on.

Friedrich’s medal was a historic one for Germany — it was the country’s 100th gold medal. It also gave Germany its sixth gold medal in the sliding events, which set a record for a single Games.

Friedrich’s German sled extended its lead from 0.29 after two runs to a dominant 0.42 after three. The top three sleds remained unchanged from Run 2 to 3, with the South Korean sled in second, 0.07 ahead of Germany’s Walther sled in third. Canada’s Kripps sled and Switzerland’s Rico Peter sled were tied in fourth, 0.28 back of third.

Flawless runs were hard to come by in the warmer weather, but Friedrich put together four solid runs without any major mistakes. The same went for Won and South Korea, but they just didn’t have the speed to match Friedrich. Even so, the country’s first medal was historic, and doing so in front of the home crowd made it even more sweet.

Bascue led the top American sled with two solid runs on the second day of competition. Top U.S. pilot Steve Holcomb, who won gold in 2010 and double bronze in 2014, passed away in 2017, and Bascue filled in valiantly. He couldn’t put together a medal run, but still piloted his sled to a top-10 finish.

Cunningham and Olsen, meanwhile, moved up from 20th and 21st after Run 2 to 19th and 20th after Run 3. They closed out the competition with two solid runs — Olsen nearly caught Cunningham on the final run, but Cunningham bested him by 0.01 over the four runs.

In PyeongChang, the German boblsedders were unmatched. They won gold in two-man, women’s, and four-man. After not winning one medal in Sochi, it doesn’t get much better than that.

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