Germany gets silver and a scare in Vancouver
German speed skater Stephanie Beckert has collected a silver medal while a crash in the women‘s bobsleigh capped a disappointing day for Germany at the Olympics in Vancouver.
On the 12th day of competition, Beckert captured her second silver of the games by taking second place in the 5,000 metre event.
But Germany suffered a rare day without medals at the sliding centre, with bobsleigh pilot Cathleen Martini getting into trouble on a notoriously difficult section of the track, causing the sleigh to flip and leaving brakewoman Romy Logsch with a twisted ankle and bruised shoulder.
Olympic bobsleigh champion Sandra Kiriasis, meanwhile, wound up with fourth place.
Despite going into the games as strong medal favourites, the German women‘s bobsled team has come away from that event empty-handed after winning silver in 2002 and gold in 2006.
The giant slalom meanwhile, was postponed until Thursday morning because of fog at Whistler, leaving Germany’s Maria Riesch – who has already taken gold in the super-combined event that includes both slalom and downhill – with a nailbiting wait.
After 64 of the 86 events of the games, Germany was neck-and-neck with the United States on the medal tally with seven golds each. Germany also has 10 silvers and seven bronzes for a total of 24, while the US has nine silver and 12 bronze, putting it in the overall lead with 28 medals. Canada also has seven gold but only 15 medals overall.
In the skating, Beckert came second to Czech skater Martina Sablikova, who won her second gold in Vancouver. Bronze went to Canadian Clara Hughes.
In the bobsleigh, Martini was in the running for bronze when her sleigh began to wobble on the difficult 11th curve and went on to roll over on the 13th corner.
Brakewoman Logsch was thrown from the sleigh but managed to slide through the rest of the track without suffering any serious injuries.
"I have a sore ankle and a bruised shoulder but, given the circumstances, I'm all right," Logsch said.
Martini said: "I took a risk with my drive and then it went wrong and in curve 13 I couldn't save it. I pulled my head in and hoped it would go well. We have a few bruises but it's really inside that it hurts."