Justin Kripps cleared to continue in 4-man bobsled
Pilot's Canada 3 sled crashed Saturday
Bobsleigh pilot Justin Kripps tweeted Sunday that he has been cleared to compete in the final day of the Olympic four-man event after he and his Canada 3 teammates crashed during Saturday's second run.
Jesse Lumsden will also continue, but the injured Cody Sorensen and Ben Coakwell will be replaced by Graeme Rinholm and Luke Demetre.
"Cleared to slide today, it will be good to be back out there. [Lumsden] will be with me, [Sorensen and Coakwell] recovering," Kripps tweeted.
Kripps was piloting the sled when it flipped coming out of a turn towards the end of the run and slid upside down for the remainder of the course.
Kripps, Lumsden, Sorensen and Coakwell received medical attention after the crash for what were called minor injuries, but were able to walk away from the finish line. Kripps waved to the crowd, which cheered loudly in support.
The athletes were checked again by medics later, according to Scott Russell, the host of Olympic Daytime on CBC Television, but it wasn't immediately known whether they'd be able to continue.
The team is allowed to compete in the third run Sunday because it crossed the finish line. However, its time of 59.91 seconds has it in last place (30th) and it will not qualify for the fourth and final run.
Kripps hits curve too early
A mistake by Kripps led to the mishap.
"He entered that curve too early," said CBC analyst Helen Upperton during the replay of the crash. "He was too close and the weight and the pressure rolled the sled into the corner. That's a shocking mistake to make.
"They have people in every curve [to] make sure nothing has fallen out of the sled, that the ice is OK. They don’t want any ruts. They’ll make sure it’s safe. The camaraderie of the team has been tested this week but they are great guys and support each other a lot, and that’s heartbreaking for the program."
Canadian coaches made news on Friday in an effort to maximize their medal chances, with Lumsden, Sorensen and Coakwell ordered to join Kripps in Canada 3.
The trio had been with pilot Chris Spring throughout the World Cup season.
Spring was not pleased with the last-minute switch.
"I might have been Canada 1 up on the board but I was Canada 3 to the coaches," the pilot said.
Kripps, who won his first ever World Cup race in Germany last month, and finished sixth in the two-man event in Sochi, had outperformed both Spring and Canada 2 pilot Lyndon Rush of late.
Zubkov looking for sweep
Russian pilot Alexander Zubkov and teammates Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov and Alexey Voevoda lead the competition after a two-run time of one minute, 50.19 seconds.
Zubkov is trying to sweep the two-man and four-man events at the Olympics. German legend Andre Lange swept the podiums at both the 2006 and 2010 Olympics.
Latvia's Oskars Melbardis jumped from fifth to second following a terrific drive and is only 0.04 seconds behind Zubkov. Germany's Maximilian Arndt is second at 1:50.35, while defending Olympic champion Steven Holcomb of the U.S. is fourth with a time of 1:50.36.
Rush has the only Canadian sled in the top 10. The bronze medallist from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics stands in 10th place (1:50.78) with teammates Lascelles Brown, Dave Bissett, and Neville Wright.
Spring, James McNaughton, Tim Randall and Bryan Barnett are tied for 13th at 1:51.20.