Winter sports: Steve Holcomb's perfect start over; Hefti wins 2-man bobsled
Winterberg, Germany • Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann of Switzerland won a World Cup 2-man bobsled competition Friday, ending American pilot Steven Holcomb's seven-race overall winning streak to start the season.
Hefti and Baumann finished two runs in 1 minute, 52.68 seconds. Russia's Alexsandr Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda were second in 1:53.14. Cory Butner won his second medal of the season for the U.S., teaming with Chuck Berkeley to finish in 1:53.15 and take the bronze, a mere 0.01 seconds away from winning the silver.
Holcomb and teammate Steven Langton struggled in their first run with only the ninth-best time and wound up finishing seventh overall in 1:53.45.
Nick Cunningham and Justin Olsen of the U.S. were 12th, doomed by a mistake-filled second run after being tied for fourth at the midway point of the competition.
Hefti and Baumann were 0.33 seconds faster than Butner and Berkeley in the opening run, giving them a big margin of error to work with. The next nine sleds in the field were separated by only 0.35 seconds.
Butner and Berkeley wound up slipping one spot in the second run, but not enough to fall from medal contention. Their bronze was the 26th medal collected by U.S. bobsled and skeleton athletes so far in this World Cup season, the most of any nation.
"We were having good training, fast and we were hoping to be fast on race day," Butner said.
"Today we were."