Korea takes silver in FIBT 4-man bobsleigh

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Korea takes silver in FIBT 4-man bobsleigh


Led by Kang Kwang-bae, Korea’s four-man bobsleigh team sprints off the starting line at the FIBT America’s Cup race in Lake Placid, New York yesterday. [YONHAP]

The Korean four-man bobsleigh team ended the 2009-10 season on a high note with a second-place finish, Korea’s best ever at an international event, at the FIBT America’s Cup four-man bobsleigh race at Mount van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, New York, early yesterday.

In the international federation of bobsleigh and tobogganing’s final bobsleigh and skeleton event of the season, Kang Kwang-bae, Lee Jin-hee, Song Jin-ho and Kim Dong-hyun finished with a combined time of 1 minute 55.42 seconds, taking second place behind the American team of Ethan Albrecht-Carrie, Travis Armbruster, Daniel Duckworth and Joseph Whisher. The Americans finished in 1 minute 55.34 seconds.

Korea had started with a solid shot at gold, clocking in at 57.53 seconds in the first heat against the Americans’ 57.79 seconds. However, the Americans answered with a time of 57.55 seconds in the second heat, while Korea lagged with 57.89 seconds.

With the season concluded, Korea is ranked 33rd out of 72 in the FIBT world rankings in the four-man competition.

“Coming off the Olympics and competing in the final event of the season, we wanted to do well,” Kang told Yonhap News. “After finishing first in the first heat, we were hoping for a gold medal but had to settle for a silver. I’m proud of my teammates for putting together Korea’s best finish under difficult circumstances.”

Korea’s previous best finish at an international event was third place at the 2008 America’s Cup events in January and April of 2008.

Korea also entered two two-man bobsleigh teams in the FIBT event on Saturday, which placed 11th and 12th in a field of 13 teams. Lee Jin-hee and Cho In-ho finished with a combined time of 1 minute 59.53 seconds, while Song Jin-ho and Kim Jung-su finished 12th with a combined time of 1 minute 59.88 seconds. The American team won the race, while Dutch team did not finish.

The Korean bobsleigh team had qualified for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics for the first time despite lack of funding and training facilities. It went onto qualify for the four-man bobsleigh finals and placed 19th overall in a field of 21 teams with a combined time of 3 minutes 31.13 seconds.

By Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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