Justin Kripps, Bryan Barnett 4th at midway point of men’s 2-man bobsled
Russians Alexander Zubkov, Alexey Voevoda lead competition
Canadian pilot Justin Kripps and brakeman Bryan Barnett sit in fourth place Sunday following the first two runs of the men’s two-man bobsled event, posting a combined time of one minute, 53:26 seconds.
The Canadians are only 0.08 seconds out of a medal position.
Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and Edmonton’s Barnett used a terrific second run to move up two spots, putting the Canadian duo in medal contention with the final two runs set for Monday (9:30 a.m. ET, streaming live at cbc.ca/olympics).
Russian pilot Alexander Zubkov and brakeman Alexey Voevoda lead the event after a two-run time of 1:52.82 seconds.
"The fight is not over. Tomorrow will be a serious fight," said Zubkov.
"We need to execute the sprint the same and maybe even add some speed. On this track, each mistake costs a lot."
Switzerland's Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann overtook Americans Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton for second with a combined time of 1:53.14.
Holcomb and Langton are third at 1:53.18.
The Canadians are peaking at an opportune time. They won their first career World Cup two-man event in January during the last event before the Sochi Olympics.
Two other Canadian sleds finished in the top 10. Calgary's Chris Spring and Jesse Lumsden, of Burlington, Ont., currently hold the eighth spot with a combined time of 1:53.43.
"Our velocity on both runs was pretty good," said Lumsden. "Consistency is the most important thing in this sport and anything can happen."
Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., and Calgary's Lascelles Brown, are in ninth at 1:53.48.
"To win an Olympic medal you have to push hard and that's all we came here to do," said Brown, a two-time Olympic medallist with Canada. "Hopefully we come here tomorrow and execute."
Zubkov and Voevoda are looking to become the first Russians to win the two-man event since Janis Ķipurs and Vladimir Koslov captured gold under the Soviet Union banner at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
Zubkov is a multiple-time world champion who has won two Olympic medals — a silver in the four-man competition in 2006, and bronze in the two-man four years ago at the Vancouver Games.
With files from Reuters