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Germany sweeps 2-man bobsled competition


The German medal sweep in two-man bobsled was a “team victory,” one racer said afterward.

By Maggie Astor


Germany earlier this week became the first country to sweep a podium at the Beijing Olympics, winning all three medals in the two-man bobsled competition.


Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis won the gold medal on Tuesday, completing four runs in a cumulative time of 3 minutes 56.89 seconds. Johannes Lochner and Florian Bauer took 0.49 seconds longer and won silver, and Christoph Hafer and Matthias Sommer finished 1.69 seconds behind for the bronze.


It was the second consecutive gold medal in the event for Friedrich and Margis, who tied with a Canadian team for first place at the 2018 Olympics. This time, they were the only team to break the 59-second mark in any run, completing their third run in 58.99 seconds.


Podium sweeps are rare at the Olympics, though more frequent in some sports than others. For instance, there have been only two in figure skating — Sweden in 1908 and the United States in 1956, both times in men’s singles — but more than 80 in track and field.


Germany’s sweep Tuesday was the first in the nearly centurylong history of Olympic bobsledding.


“It’s a team victory,” Sommer, one of the bronze medalists, said afterward, according to Reuters. “We work together. We tested the sleds and the runners. It’s a victory for Germany.”

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