Silver for Jamanka/Burghardt, Meyers Taylor/Hoffman take bronze
Yanqing (RWH) Laura Nolte and push athlete Deborah Levi (GER) are the 2022 2-woman bobsleigh Olympic Champions. At the Winter Games in Beijing (CHN), 23-year-old Laura Nolte thus became the youngest bobsleigh pilot in the history of the discipline to win Olympic gold.
With Deborah Levi, Laura Nolte had already put a respectable gap between herself and her competitors before the fourth and decisive race run. With a track record, 1.00:70 minutes and thus as the first female bobsleigh pilot under 1.01 seconds, the duo entered the Olympic final as the last sled with almost eight tenths of a second advantage,. In the end, Nolte/Levi won Olympic gold by 0.77 seconds.
Olympic silver celebrated 2018 Olympic Champion Mariama Jamanka (GER) with push athlete Alexandra Burghardt. Burghardt, one of Germany's fastest sprinters and still competing at the 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo, had only completed her first runs in the 2-woman bobsleigh at the start of the Olympic season.
Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman from the USA secured the bronze medal, 1.52 seconds behind the winners. For Meyers Taylor, it is her fifth medal at a Winter Olympics, following bronze in 2010 as Erin Pac's push athlete and silver in 2014 and 2018 as a pilot, as well as monobob silver in Beijing - no other female bobsleigh athlete has won more medals in the discipline's 20-year Olympic history since 2002. With nine medals now, the US team also remains the most successful nation in women’s bobsleigh when it comes to the Olympics.
European Champion Kim Kalicki (GER) finished fourth in the Yanqing Sliding Center. Her push athlete Lisa Buckwitz remains the youngest Olympic Champion among female bobsleigh athletes: At winning the 2018 gold medal in the sled of pilot Mariama Jamanka, the then also 23-year-old was a few days younger than Laura Nolte now.
Fifth place went to Canada's Christine de Bruin/Kristen Bujnowski. Pilot de Bruin had previously won bronze at the Olympic premiere in the women's monobob in Beijing.
Huai Mingming/Wang Xuan and Ying Qing/Du Jiani of Olympic hosts China finished 11th and 14th respectively after the four Olympic race runs. ©RWH2022
Laura Nolte (GER, Olympic Champion 2022, European Champion 2021)
"I can't believe it yet. The Olympics have always been a dream of mine, and to win gold here is simply unbelievable. All the work has paid off."
Mariama Jamanka (GER, Olympic silver medallist 2022, Olympic Champion 2018)
"This medal is really special after two hard years. I am so proud. It's always best when I focus on the things I can influence."
Elana Meyers Taylor (USA, 2022 Olympic bronze medallist, 2015 and 2017 World Champion)
"These are exceptional Winter Olympics for me. To have two chances and medal in both races is incredible. To be the women’s bobsleigh athlete with the most Olympic medals now is cool."Photos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis