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Germany sweeps two-man bobsleigh podium

Posted February. 17, 2022 07:39,   

Updated February. 17, 2022 07:39


Germany boasted its prowess as a sledding powerhouse, sweeping gold, silver and bronze medals in the two-man bobsleigh after winning four gold medals in luge and two gold medals in skeleton. As of Wednesday, seven out of nine gold medals German won at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics were from sledding events.

Germany’s Francesco Friedrich, Johannes Lochner and Christoph Hafer swept the podium in the two-man bobsleigh ended on Tuesday at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre in China. Two-man bobsleigh teams are named after their pilot. This is the first time that one country won all medals in an Olympic bobsleigh event.

Francesco Friedrich, the best bobsleigh pilot in the world, led Germany’s podium sweep. Friedrich, who has won the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup (two-man, four-man) for four consecutive seasons, is known as the bobsledding “Ice Kaiser” because he keeps his poise and steers the sleigh perfectly even when the average bobsleigh speed exceeds 130 kilometers.

Living up to his reputation, Friedrich won the gold medal with a combined time of 3:56.89. Known as a perfectionist, who does not tolerate even a small mistake, Friedrich regretted making a mistake in his second run. However, he rose to the top by finishing his third run at 58:99, a record no one has made on the track so far. As a result, Friedrich won back-to-back gold medals in the two-man bobsleigh after winning gold medals in the two-man and four-man bobsleigh four years ago in Pyeongchang.

Johannes Lochner, who won no medal at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, won the silver medal with a combined time of 3:57.38 in his second Olympic. His team was at the first place after a second run but gave the first place to Friedrich after a third run. Bronze medalist Christoph Hafer won a medal in his first Olympics with a combined time of 3:58.58.

They all stood on the podium, wearing red beanies and black-and-yellow uniforms, which represent the three colors on the German flag. Friedrich, who is usually calm, was full of excitement, saying it is crazy that German teams took all the medals. Matthias Sommer, the brakeman of Christoph’s team, said all the German teams train together and check the equipment together, adding it is the victory for all German teams.

Jae-Hyeng Kim monami@donga.com