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1ST LEAD German Jamanka wins women's bobsleigh gold By Barry Whelan, dpa

Europe, Europa
21.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - Germany‘s Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz sealed Olympic gold in the women‘s bobsleigh on Wednesday by just 0.07 seconds after four runs - surprising even their own countrymen in the process.

Jamanka and Buckwitz weren‘t even seen as the number-one German pair, let alone as gold-medal contenders, with the duo of Stephanie Schneider and Annika Drazek expected to be the the country‘s front-runners in Pyeongchang.

But Jamanka took a slim advantange into the third and fourth runs, having led after the first day of competition on Tuesday, and held on to win - an achievement that she and her partner struggled to take in.

"It was a moment of disbelief," 27-year-old Jamanka said. "We didn‘t understand right away what was going on. Then I screamed, they screamed, Lisa screamed. It was just unbelievable."

World champion Elana Meyers Taylor of the US was then quickest in the third run to notch up the pressure but she had to settle for silver. But it was a moment of huge emotion for Meyers Taylor, who, after the death of team-mate Steve Holcomb in 2017, hadn‘t known if she‘d ever be in this position again.

"It means everything," she said. "After the death of Steve Holcomb I didn‘t want to get in a sled, so going a whole summer and not being sure if I even wanted to come back to the sport, you know, to be able to do this and have his legacy live on, it‘s the least we could do and I‘m honoured."

Canada‘s Kaillie Humphries, with Phylicia George, drove Canada to bronze.

The celebrated Jamaican and Nigerian bobsled teams finished with the two slowest times - but for Nigeria‘s Ngozi Onwumere, simply taking part was an achievement in itself.

"I am completely overwhelmed. I can only express myself with tears, just because it‘s been a long road and finally we‘ve completed it. I can only imagine how it is back home in Nigeria," he said.

 

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