Winter Olympics 2018: Nothing to separate bobsledders, Lorentzen sneaks gold
The margins could hardly have been finer on Monday at the Winter Olympics as Havard Lorentzen snatched 500metre speed skating gold, while victory had to be shared in the two-man bobsleigh.
Gold was shared in an Olympic bobsleigh event for just the second time, with Canada once again involved 20 years on from sharing the win in this event with Italy in Nagano.
Four-time world champion pilot Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis produced a stunning late run to move into contention, piling pressure on Canada's Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz.
The Canadian duo just scraped through, completing the four-run event with an identical time of three minutes and 16.86 seconds, leaving both teams to celebrate.
Lorentzen's victory was another stunner and came by 0.01secs at the cost of South Korea's Cha Min-kyu, much to the disappointment of most inside the Gangneung Oval.
Success for Germany put them level on an Olympic record five two-man golds with Switzerland, while both of Canada's gold medals in this event have been shared.
In a further twist of fate, Kripps is trained by the Nagano pilot Pierre Lueders.
"He actually taught me to drive bobsled," said Kripps. It's pretty insane that 20 years after he tied for a gold medal I did, about eight years after he taught me. I saw him briefly today in the Korean changing room."
One word understandably summed up the process for Friedrich.
For the first time in 20 years, an Olympic gold medal will be shared! As #GER and #CAN post identical times of 3m 16.86seconds in the 2-man bobsleigh #PyeongChang2018-- PyeongChang 2018 (@pyeongchang2018) February 19, 2018
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He said: "It was so crazy. Yesterday we had two not good runs and today we must fight to come back and we fight all we could do. We did two best times and that is crazy that we win after the first day, it's so crazy."
Latvia took bronze, becoming the 27th nation to medal at the Pyeongchang Games, a new record.
LORENTZEN SILENCES SOUTH KOREA
Lorentzen bagged a first speed acting gold for Norway in 70 years, doing so in astonishing circumstances.
The Gangneung Oval reached fever pitch when Cha set a new Olympic record at 34.42secs.
But those cheers were quelled just two runs later as Lorentzen lowered the leading mark again, by just a hundredth of a second.
Victory for Lorentzen was made all the more sweet, as he revealed the lengths he had to go through to make Pyeongchang.
"Two and a half years ago I had a big crash on the ice in training and cut off half my calf," he revealed. "Ever since then training has been good. I've come back stronger than ever and the last two seasons have been amazing. Now to crown it with Olympic gold, it's unbelievable."
Another fine day for Norway was capped by victory in the team ski jumping, leaving the Scandinavian nation top of the medal table with 11 golds among a total of 28.
CHRISTIE HAS HOPE
19FEB Ski Jumping - Men's Team-- PyeongChang 2018 (@pyeongchang2018) February 19, 2018
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Having crashed out of each event in Sochi four years ago, the Pyeongchang Games have featured more heartbreak for world champion short-track speed skater Elise Christie.
The Briton once again hit the ice during the 500m final and 1500m semi-final, with the 1000m heats to come on Tuesday.
Christie had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher after her most recent crash, but had her skates back on by Monday.
Great Britain chef de mission Mike Hay said: "She's got one chance to go and she's desperate. She's going to be determined to make sure that ankle's fit.
"I'm cautiously optimistic. She was on the ice today, purely to see if she could put the boot on and skate around a little bit."