Winter Olympics: Kiara Reddingius and bobsleigh partner Bree Walker finish 16th
Bree Walker and Kiara Reddingius couldn’t find a fittingly rousing finish to Australia’s breakthrough sliding campaign at the Winter Olympics.
The pair had been eyeing a top-10 finish to seal the landmark Beijing campaign in which Walker finished fifth in the monobob and Jackie Narracott earned a shock skeleton silver.
But after lying 11th following the first three runs at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre, Walker had a bad fourth run on Saturday night which pushed them back to 16th overall.
Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi powered to the gold medal by a dominant margin of 0.77 seconds from their compatriots, 2018 champion Mariama Jamanka and Alexandra Burghardt as the German domination at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre continued.
The Aussie pair, who been lying 12th overnight, were left elated after the third run in 1min 02.04sec earlier on Saturday, the 11th fastest of the round which still left them in with a chance of their coveted top-10 finish.
Yet it all went wrong for Walker at the top of the second slide as a couple of big mistakes resulted in the slowest final run by any team, of 1:02.51.
The Australians’ combined four-run total time of 4:08.64 was 4.68sec slower than the extraordinary young star Nolte, who became the youngest bob pilot for 90 years to win Olympic gold.
Germany now has eight golds - in nine events - and 14 medals overall in the three sliding sports at the Beijing Olympics.
The Germans will likely add to that on the final day, since they have the top two sleds at the midpoint of the four-man competition that will end on Sunday.
They already have more golds, and more medals, in sliding events than any nation ever has at any Olympics.
US bronze medallist Elana Meyers Taylor, in possibly her last race, also made history, grabbing the bronze for the fifth medal of her Olympic career.
That’s more than any Black athlete in Winter Olympic history and the most by any women’s bobsledder in the annals of the Games.
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