Bobsleigh teams finish early heats in middle of the pack
The two Korean teams finished in the middle of the pack after the first two heats of the four-man bobsleigh on Saturday, with Team Won Yun-jong finishing 18th and Team Suk Young-jin finishing 26th out of 28 team.
Four athletes per team hit the tracks at Yanqing National Sliding Centre on Saturday, a pilot who steers the bobsled down the track, two pushers who help push the sled at the beginning of the race, and a brakeman who pulls the brakes and stops the sled at the end of the race. The four-man bobsleigh race uses an enclosed sleigh with the four athletes seated inside, rather than the open sleigh used in skeleton and luge.
For Team Won, Kim Jin-su was the brakeman, with Jung Hyun-woo and Kim Dong-hyun acting as pushers. For Team Suk, Kim Hyeung-geun was the brake man, with Kim Tae-yang and Shin Ye-chan acting as pushers.
Team Won had a clean run without any bumps but could not make up for their start time of 5.05 seconds, which was the 21st-fastest out of all the teams.
After the first run, Won was placed in 19th with a time of 59.45 seconds, 1.32 seconds behind the first-place sled piloted by Johannes Lochner of Germany.
Team Won were unable to better their time in the second run, recording a time of 59.60 to take the top seat briefly before the next contender took the lead. After all sleds completed their race, Team Won's total time of 1 minute and 59.05 seconds landed them at an overall 18th position, 2.05 seconds behind the top team.
Team Suk had a clean run in the first heat until the 13th turn, when they bumped against the left wall. Suk was placed in 25th with a time of 59.74 seconds, 1.61 seconds behind the leaders after the first run.
Team Suk struggled in the second run, recording a time of 1 minute and 0.31 seconds and their total time of 2 minutes and 00.05 seconds landed them in 26th position, 3.05 seconds behind the top team.
Both pilots also competed with their brakemen in the two-man bobsleigh event on Tuesday and Wednesday. Won and Kim Jin-su landed in 19th place with a combined time of 4 minutes and 1.24 seconds after all four runs while Suk and Kim Hyeong-geun failed to advance to the fourth heat.
Won and Kim Jin-su only partnered up in January this year, after Won's long-time brakeman Seo Young-woo suffered an ankle injury. Despite their inexperience together, the pair were able to make up for lost time quickly, taking sixth place in the two-man bobsleigh race at the BMW International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup in January.
Both sleds will compete in the third heat of the two-man bobsleigh event on Sunday, with only the top 20 sleds advancing to the fourth medal heat later in the evening.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]