USA Bobsled and Skeleton

Jan 26 Holcomb and Langton in medal contention at two man bobsled World Championships

Jan. 26, 2013, 6:16 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, abird@usbsf.com

Holcomb and Langton in medal contention at two-man bobsled World Championships


Photo credit: Charlie Booker

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 26, 2013)-Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) raced the BMW sled to third position after the first day of men’s two-man bobsled World Championships in St. Moritz this morning.  With two more solid runs tomorrow, USA-1 can secure a spot on the medal stand. 

“We’re hoping to throw down tomorrow to move up in the standings,” Holcomb said.  “We’re going to put it all on the line and try to win this thing.”

Holcomb and Langton made history by winning the first two-man title for the U.S. program last season, and while the 2013 title is 0.77 seconds from their reach after the first day of competition, Holcomb is happy to be in medal position.  He’s never finished better than fourth on the St. Moritz track in his 15-year sliding career. 

Alexander Zubkov and his brakeman Dmitry Trunenkov made their best effort to block USA-1 from a top-three finish after day one.  RUS-1 and USA-1 clocked identical start and finish times of 5.12 and 1:06.06, respectively, in the first heat to tie for third.  RUS-1 bettered their start by 0.03 seconds to challenge USA-1 in the second heat.  Holcomb threaded together a speedy run to not only take back the hundredths of a second lost at the start, but to gain 0.03 seconds by the finish. 

“I thought for sure Zubkov was going to get me by a hundredth and that we’d be in fourth again,” Holcomb said.  “I was really happy to be the one with the extra hundredths in the bank, and it’s so nice to break the fourth place curse.  So far, so good.”

Holcomb decided to compete in the BMW bobsled prototype after the sled clocked the fastest speeds during training this week.  He made a gutsy decision to race the sled out of the box without any training in last weekend’s World Cup in Igls, Austria to get a few race runs in the sled prior to World Championships.

“We’re on our way up,” Holcomb said.  “There’s still some work to be done because it’s in the baby phase of development, but I made some minor modifications to the sled this week and it’s running fast.”

Germans Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker have a comfortable lead of 0.35 seconds heading into the final runs tomorrow.  Friedrich dominated the field in both heats and is the overnight leader with a two-run total of 2:11.10.  Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter are in silver medal position after posting a total time of 2:11.45 on their home track.

Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) continues to establish himself as one of the emerging two-man pilots on tour.  Butner teamed with Olympic push athlete Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) for start times of 5.19 and 5.17 and runs of 1:06.22 and 1:05.97, respectively.  USA-2 wraps up the first day of racing in seventh position, and are just 0.16 seconds from a top-six result.

Soldier-athletes Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) raced the National Guard sled to 13th position.  USA-3 pushed identical start times of 5.16 seconds in their World Championship debut today.  Cunningham navigated two decent runs of 1:06.44 and 1:06.10, and the crew’s two-run total of 2:12.54 is within reach of the top-10.

World Championship racing continues today with the deciding final runs of the women’s bobsled event at 12:45 p.m. local time.  Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.

Results (Heats 1 & 2):

1. Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker (GER) 2:11.10 (1:05.59, 1:05.51); 2. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter (SUI) 2:11.45 (1:05.79, 1:05.66); 3. Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton (USA) 2:11.87 (1:06.06, 1:05.81);…7. Cory Butner and Chris Fogt (USA) 2:12.19 (1:06.22, 1:05.97);…13. Nick Cunningham and Dallas Robinson (USA) 2:12.54 (1:06.44, 1:06.10);

About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, WIDIA, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.

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