| Event type

Two, Men

Date18 – 19 February 2018
LocationOlympic Sliding Centre, Alpensia Resort, Mountain Cluster, Daegwallyeong
Participants61 from 18 countries
FormatFour runs, total time determined placement. Only the best 20 teams contest the final run.
DetailsCurves: 16
Length: 1,376 m
Start Altitude: 930 m
Vertical Drop: 80 m

The two Canadian sleds, piloted by Justin Kripps and Chris Spring, were favourites for the 2-man event. Kripps came to PyeongChang as the reigning World Cup holder and World Championship silver medalist. His compatriot, Spring, was third in the World Cup, and splitting the two Canadians was the 2016-17 World Cup winner, Germany’s Francesco Friedrich. The German enjoyed two wins and three seconds in the final five races of the 2017-18 season, and had it not have been for three poor opening results, he could well have been World Cup champion again, adding to his four World Championship gold medals from 2013 and 2015-17.

The defending Olympic champions, Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann of Switzerland (subsequently promoted to first place after the disqualification of the Russian pair Aleksandr Zubkov and Aleksey Voyevoda), did not defend their title. Also, the double Sochi silver medalist Steve Holcomb was not in Korea to add to his medal tally, as he sadly died at the US training camp at Lake Placid in May 2017.

The German, Canadian and Latvian crews all showed they would be forces to be reckoned with during the official training heats, and the British duo of Brad Hall and Joel Fearon, the only Winter Olympian to run 100 metres under 10 seconds, were considered as fancied outsiders. Once the serious competition got under way, however, it was Latvia’s Oskars Melbardis, the third fastest man in official training, who set the pace on the first run, edging out Kripps and Nico Walther of Germany, who had also put in some impressive runs in training. Melbardis, along with brakeman Jānis Strenga, set a new track record of 49.08 sec.

Melbardis slipped to fourth after a 10th place finish in the second heat and was 0.27s behind the heat-winner Walther, who became the new outright leader, up from third. Kripps moved into second, with Germany’s Johannes Lochner in third. The Canadian pair of Spring and Lascelles Brown opened the first two heats with eighth and 13th place finishes to effectively end Brown’s hopes of becoming the first Canadian to win three bobsleigh medals, in what were his fifth Olympics at the age of 43.

While the -11.1C ice temperature in heat two saw slightly slower times, things were back to normal in heat three as Francesco Friedrich put in a brilliant finish at the end of his third run to beat Melbardis’ day-old track record with a 48.96. This run moved him into second place, with Kripps the new leader and Lochner down from first to third, and Melbardis holding on to fourth. Just 13/100ths of a second separated the top five, leaving the battle for the medal positions wide open.

The field was reduced from 30 to 20 pairs for the fourth and final run, with both Germany and Canada each having three teams competing. With five sleds to go, the medal positions were still in the balance, but Melbardis put himself in with a great chance after what would be the fastest run of the heat, 49.21. When Johannes Lochner could not overhaul him, after the slowest of his four runs, the Latvians were guaranteed a medal, but its colour was still uncertain.

The penultimate pair to go were Germany’s Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis, and their combined time of 3:16.86 put them in the gold medal position with only Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz to go, trying win Canada’s first 2-man gold medal since 1998. Kripps needed a final run of 49.27 to take gold but failed by 1/100th of a second, which resulted in a tie for the gold medal. The only other time the gold medal was shared in Olympic bobsleigh history was in 1998, when another Canadian pair, Pierre Lueders and Dave MacEachern, shared the title with the Italians Günther Huber and Antonio Tartaglia. Coincidentally, it was Leuders who taught Kripps to become a bobsligh driver.

The shared gold medal brought an end to a memorable 12 months for Friedrich and Kripps. The German beat the Canadian into second place at the 2017 World Championships and in the 2017-18 World Cup, the roles were reversed. Now they were all-square.

PosPairNOCTimeRun #1Run #2Run #3Run #4
=1Justin Kripps / Alex KopaczCAN3:16.8649.10 (2)49.39 (=3)49.09 (=3)49.28 (3)Gold
=1Francesco Friedrich / Thorsten MargisGER3:16.8649.22 (5)49.46 (5)48.96 (1)49.22 (2)Gold
3Oskars Melbārdis / Jānis StrengaLAT3:16.9149.08 (1)49.54 (10)49.08 (2)49.21 (1)Bronze
4Nico Walther / Christian PoserGER3:17.0649.12 (3)49.27 (1)49.32 (=6)49.35 (4)
5Johannes Lochner / Christopher WeberGER3:17.1449.24 (6)49.34 (2)49.09 (=3)49.47 (8)
6Won Yun-Jong / Seo Yeong-WuKOR3:17.4049.50 (11)49.39 (=3)49.15 (5)49.36 (5)
7Nick Poloniato / Jesse LumsdenCAN3:17.7449.48 (10)49.48 (7)49.33 (9)49.45 (6)
8Benjamin Maier / Markus SammerAUT3:17.7649.41 (9)49.47 (6)49.32 (=6)49.56 (=10)
9Oskars Ķibermanis / Matīss MiknisLAT3:17.8049.21 (4)49.57 (12)49.32 (=6)49.70 (14)
10Chris Spring / Lascelles BrownCAN3:18.2449.38 (8)49.58 (13)49.56 (=13)49.72 (15)
11Rico Peter / Simon FriedliSUI3:18.2649.72 (16)49.53 (9)49.52 (10)49.49 (9)
12Brad Hall / Joel FearonGBR3:18.3449.37 (7)49.50 (8)49.67 (=17)49.80 (=16)
13Romain Heinrich / Dorian HautervilleFRA3:18.4849.74 (18)49.73 (18)49.55 (12)49.46 (7)
14Justin Olsen / Evan WeinstockUSA3:18.5449.66 (12)49.55 (11)49.53 (11)49.80 (=16)
15Markus Treichl / Kilian WalchAUT3:18.5649.67 (13)49.67 (15)49.56 (=13)49.66 (13)
16Clemens Bracher / Michael KuonenSUI3:18.8349.73 (17)49.90 (19)49.64 (16)49.56 (=10)
17Dominik Dvořák / Jakub NosekCZE3:18.8649.70 (15)49.63 (14)49.67 (=17)49.86 (19)
18Mihai Țentea / Nicolae Ciprian DarocziROU3:18.9849.69 (14)49.72 (17)49.93 (25)49.64 (12)
19Rudy Rinaldi / Boris VainMON3:19.0249.85 (20)49.69 (16)49.68 (19)49.80 (=16)
20Aleksey Stulnev / Vasily KondratenkoROC3:19.3749.77 (19)49.99 (20)49.74 (20)49.87 (20)
21Nick Cunningham / Hakeem Abdul-SaboorUSA2:29.6949.96 (24)50.11 (24)49.62 (15)
22Lucas Mata / David MariAUS2:29.7949.88 (22)50.04 (21)49.87 (22)
23Jan Vrba / Jakub HavlínCZE2:29.8649.93 (23)50.07 (22)49.86 (21)
24Mateusz Luty / Krzysztof TylkowskiPOL2:29.8949.87 (21)50.10 (23)49.92 (24)
25Codie Bascue / Sam McGuffieUSA2:30.0950.03 (25)50.16 (25)49.90 (23)
26Li Chunjian / Wang SidongCHN2:30.4950.13 (26)50.21 (27)50.15 (27)
27Edson Bindilatti / Edson MartinsBRA2:30.7150.14 (27)50.22 (28)50.35 (29)
28Maksim Andrianov / Ruslan Samitov / Yury SelikhovROC2:30.8350.27 (28)50.58 (29)49.98 (26)
29Jin Jian / Shi HaoCHN2:30.9750.47 (29)50.17 (26)50.33 (28)
30Dražen Silić / Benedikt NikpaljCRO2:32.6650.76 (30)50.91 (30)50.99 (30)