Local hero Yunjong Won and Nico Walther in joint second for the silver medal
PyeongChang (RWH): A double victory for Francesco Friedrich (GER): After winning Olympic gold in the 2-man event, the German bobsleigh pilot has now claimed gold in the 4-man bobsleigh with his brake crew Candy Bauer, Martin Grothkopp and Thorsten Margis. The Olympic silver medal in PyeongChang went to two teams who finished in joint second: local heroes Yunjong Won/Youngwoo Seo/Junglin Jun/Donghyun Kim from host nation Korea and Nico Walther/Kevin Kuske/Alexander Rödiger/Eric Franke (GER).
Friedrich led proceedings over all four heats at the PyeongChang Olympic Sliding Centre. After the first day of racing, the squad had a good three tenths of a second on the rest of the field; their lead then rose to fourth tenths ahead of the final heat. Friedrich and his squad ended up with a 0.53-second lead to take home Olympic gold.
The highlight for sports fans at the track was without a doubt the silver medal for pilot Yunjong Won and his 4-man team, who became the first ever Korean squad to win an Olympic medal in bobsleigh. For the final day of racing, almost 7,000 spectators stood packed along the track from start to finish – a record crowd, even for the PyeongChang Olympic Sliding Centre, which has attracted strong audiences throughout the Games.
Germany’s Nico Walther also secured his first ever Olympic medal with silver, though his crew had slightly more experience in this field: Kevin Kuske is the most successful brakeman in bobsleigh with four Olympic golds, while Alexander Rödiger finished second with André Lange in the 2010 Olympics.
The Olympic final for the 4-man bobsleigh also attracted a number of famous faces to the Olympic Sliding Centre in PyeongChang. Korea’s President Jae-in Moon watched pilot Yunjong Won race for silver and was at the finish line to witness Korea’s first ever Olympic medal in the bobsleigh. Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, was on hand to congratulate Codie Bascue and his crew, who achieved the best finish for the USA in ninth place. IBSF President Ivo Ferriani also welcomed Irina Gladkikh, at the IOC responsible for winter sports and international sporting federations, as well as a delegation from future Olympic hosts China.
Francesco Friedrich (GER, Olympic Champion 2018, World Champion 2018)
“An Olympic gold in the 4-man bobsleigh is simply the best thing ever! It’s an achievement for the entire team and a reward for four years of hard work with the guys.”
Yunjong Won (KOR, 2018 Olympic silver, 15th in overall World Cup 2017)
“We used to concentrate more on the 2-man bobsleigh but recently we started to focus on the 4-man, too. This definitely gave us the foundation for our medal. We also improved a lot at the start, particularly in terms of speed. We’re now looking forward to a break, some good food and time with our families.”
Nico Walther (GER, 2018 Olympic silver, World Championship silver 2015)
“The guys did a great job pushing. Kevin, especially, pulled everything out of the bag ahead of his retirement. Our start on the fourth run is what got us the silver, I’m sure of that. I’m hoping that the medal will be a different colour in four years’ time.”