All three of Canada’s two-man bobsleds ended in the top 10 but weren’t able to medal on the Sanki Sliding Centre track during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, on Monday.
Sylvan Lake’s pilot Lyndon Rush, teamed with Lascelles Brown in Canada 1, wasn’t able to advance from the ninth place he held going into the final two heats.
He opened with a 56.61 second run through the 17 curves down the 1.5 kilometre track. Then on the second run Sunday, he posted a time of 56.87 seconds. Rush was in seventh after his first run but slipped to ninth after the second — a position he remained in for the duration.
Monday’s times were 56.64 and 56.76 for a total of 3:46.88. That was 1.49 seconds behind the winning sled of Russia’s Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda who were coached by former Canadian bobsled champion Pierre Lueders.
The other two Canadian teams finished ahead of Rush.
Canada 3 with pilot Justin Kripps and brakeman Bryan Barnett, slipped from fourth place to sixth place during the final heat.
Kripps had a decent opening run Monday but struggled in the finale. He didn’t hold anything back and attacked the track with all he had. That led to his bumping the sides of the track a few too many times.
“Fourth to me is the same as sixth,” he told Canadian Press. “I wanted to get a medal so we risked it, you know. We wanted to go for it and came sixth. Still, it’s one of our best finishes on the world stage so no regrets out there.”
Canada 2 with Chris Spring and Jesse Lumsden climbed from eighth position to finish in seventh at the end of four heats.
The Canadians were well aware who had whipped the Russian team into winning form, something it hasn’t experienced since 1988.
“Good for him,” said Rush of Lueders in a Globe and Mail interview. “I don’t want to say anything bad. He’s a Canadian legend … He’s coaching the Russians, so I’m not really cheering for him.”
Lueders was Canada’s top driver before going to Russia in 2012. He’s a five time Olympian who won gold in the two-man bobsled at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, and silver in the same event at Turin in 2006. He retired after fifth-place finishes in the two- and four-man events at the 2010 Games.
Canada has another chance at medals with three teams in the four-man events which take place Saturday and Sunday. The first two heats begin at 9:30 a.m. MST Saturday. Then the final two heats are at 2:30 a.m. MST Sunday.
From Canadian Press story
Rush calls his Canada 1 two-man sled Deuce and the four-man sled Moose.
“It’s a two-man so Deuce makes sense but my wife (Krista) calls bobsled poopsled and my kids (Olivia and Amelia) call bobsled poopsled and they kind of tease me. And going poop is a No. 2,” he explained, drawing laughs at a team news conference.
Hence Deuce, thanks to a suggestion from Olivia. And with sleds hurtling down the track at more than 140 km/h, that’s real poop power.
Moose was chosen for the four-man “because it’s big and rhymes with Deuce.”