Olympics-Bobsleigh-Nolte and Levi rocket Germany to another sliding gold in the two-woman

Bobsleigh - 2-woman Heat 3
2022 Beijing Olympics – Bobsleigh – 2-woman Heat 3 – National Sliding Centre, Beijing, China – February 19, 2022. Laura Nolte of Germany and Deborah Levi of Germany react after their run. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

February 19, 2022

By David Kirton

YANQING, China (Reuters) -From the night’s first run, Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi made it clear they were not to be caught this Olympics as the pair extended their lead over the several pursuing medallists behind them and soared to another German gold on Saturday.

Rivals needed Nolte, 23, and Levi, 24, to make mistakes for a way back into the race after the Olympic first-timers took a commanding lead on Friday, but they kept their nerve for a total time of 4:03.96 over four runs.

It was Germans giving Germans a run for their money, like so many sliding races this Olympics.

Jamanka Mariama, who took gold in this event four years before, and brakewoman Alexandra Burghardt, were their closest contenders, finishing 0.77 seconds behind.

United States duo Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman proved themselves the fastest pushers on the track, breaking their own start time record from a night earlier.

But their pace fell on the Yanqing National Sliding Centre’s curves, coming 1.52 seconds behind the leaders for bronze.

It was the fifth Olympic medal for Meyers Taylor, the 37-year-old pilot and most decorated U.S. bobsledder, who has said this would be her last race.

The windswept Yanqing night saw Germany continue its unprecedented sliding medal haul, with the country taking a phenomenal eight of nine available golds.

Two German four-man teams lead the pack going into the finale on Sunday morning.

The U.S.’s Kaillie Humphries took the remaining gold in the Olympic’s first ever monobob on Monday, but the four-time medal winner had a muted race by her standards, coming in seventh and 3.08 seconds behind Nolte.

Canada’s Cynthia Appiah and Dawn Richardson Wilson will likely have bruises to show for their race in the morning, after the pair skidded and crashed going through the track’s tricky 13th curve.

After the bobsleigh slid for agonising moments along the track, the pair emerged looking mostly unharmed if frustrated.

They jumped in the bobsleigh for a fourth run, finishing eighth overall.

(Reporting by David Kirton;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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