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Olympic Bobsleigh Team Qualifies for 2, 4-man Races

Posted January. 19, 2010 08:33,   


The Korean national bobsleigh team will compete in both the two-man and four-man events for the first time in next month’s Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Team captain Kang Kwang-bae said yesterday, “We were told by the president of the International Bobsled Federation (FIBT) that Korea can compete in the two-man race in the Winter Olympics.”

Korea did not qualify for the two-man race after not finishing among the top 17 teams in the qualifiers. Romania, Austria and Italy, however, will not field teams in the event, giving Korea, which is 19th in the world rankings, a berth.

Eighteenth-ranked Japan has also received a berth in the two-man race in Vancouver.

“I feel like a camel that barely passed through the eye of a needle,” Kang said. “If we compete in the two-man race, we will have more time to train for the Olympics than if we just competed in the four-man race. We are just pleased to qualify for the Olympics. Of course, it’ll be difficult to win a medal, but we’ll definitely beat Japan for the sake of Korean pride.”

Kang will compete in his fourth consecutive Winter Olympics, having done the luge and skeleton from the 1998 Nagano Olympics through the 2006 Turin Olympics. He will compete in all bobsleigh events in Vancouver.

The national team will return to Korea Wednesday after finishing training in Turin, Italy, and then go to Salt Lake City Jan. 26 for further practice.

In the skeleton, Cho In-ho will carry Korea’s Olympic hopes. In Canada alone and away from the national team because of equipment problems, he received news of his qualification from the Korea Bobsleigh Skeleton Federation.

Kang competed in the skeleton when it debuted at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and again in 2006.

The national ski team will send 10 athletes to Vancouver next month. The Korean Ski Association quoted a release from the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS), the International Ski Federation, as listing two men and one woman in alpine; one man and woman in cross-country; one in snowboarding; one in freestyle; and three in ski jumping.