KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — The top American bobsled stands in third place following the first heat of the four-man bobsled, 0.07 seconds behind the first-place Russians.
The USA-1 sled, nicknamed Night Train 2, was the second one on the track Saturday. The top German sled was first and reached the bottom in 54.88, an impressive time to beat. There is one more run scheduled for Saturday and the final two — and the medal ceremony — slated for Sunday.
American pilot Steve Holcomb showed no signs of the calf injury he suffered in the two-man event earlier in the week, as he and his crew got off to a better start than the Germans — the fastest start ever at the Sanki Sliding Center, in fact. The USA-1 sled lost time late on the course, though, and finished in 54.89 seconds.
Despite a slower start, the Russian sled bested both the Germans and Americans, gathering steam with each turn and posting the top heat time, 54.82, a track record at Sanki Sliding Center. The Russia-1 sled is driven by Alexander Zubkov, who’s already won gold in the two-man event here.
Holcomb is trying to become the first American driver in 82 years to successfully defend an Olympic bobsled title.
The other American sled in the field, piloted by Nick Cunningham, finished in 55.61 seconds, good enough for 14th place but a distant 0.79 seconds behind the leader.
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