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Korean bobsleigh team to use Latvian sleighs in Pyeongchang

Korean bobsleigh team to use Latvian sleighs in Pyeongchang

Posted January. 23, 2018 07:58,   

Updated January. 23, 2018 08:12


The Korea Bobsleigh& Skeleton Federation, which was weighing between the sleigh produced by Hyundai Motor Company and BTC, the sleigh made in Latvia, has decided to use BTC on Monday. The decision was based on the judgment that BTC is more suitable to use as it allows easier cornering in the Pyeongchang Sliding Center, which has many curvy sections.

The Korean national bobsleigh team has been mulling until the very end, under the situation that the records of both sleighs were similar. Hyundai Motor Company made an agreement to support the production of sleigh for the national team in September 2014, and produced the sleigh and delivered it to the team in October 2015. When the national bobsleigh team completed the test drive with both sleighs made by Hyundai and BTC in January 2016, the difference was no more than one to two seconds.

It has been reported that the final decision was made by reflecting the opinions of bobsledders who has been in the track adaptation training in Pyeongchang since early this month. Especially, the utilization level in the infamous “No. 9 to 10” sections of the Pyeongchang track, which will determine the winner in sleigh sports, and the psychological stability of the bobsledders served as the crucial standards for the decision.

Another key standard for the decision was if bobsledders could reach the steady set of records. In the Olympic Games, bobsledders run four times in total, and all four records must be similar to have a stable result. It has been reported that, in this aspect, BTC sleighs have shown steadier set of records than Hyundai Motor sleighs.

Against the backdrop, it draws attention to Hyundai Motor Company’s support, which is providing support not only sleighs, but also the cost for overseas coaches. “Support from Hyundai Motor Company is significantly needed for sleigh sports in Korea to continue developing even after the Olympic Games,” said a personnel of the federation.

Jae-Hyeng Kim monami@donga.com