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British bobsleigh pair crash out

GB crash in two-man bobsleigh

GB crash in two-man bobsleigh

British crew John Jackson and Dan Money are out of the two-man bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics after a dramatic crash in their opening heat.

Brakeman Money flew out as their sled turned over and slid upside down, while pilot Jackson was trapped as the upturned car thundered down the track.

Both men appeared to escape serious injury as Jackson emerged battered and bruised with ice burns on his back.

The GB sled was one of four to overturn at the Whistler Sliding Centre heats.

Safety concerns have been a feature of the Vancouver Games following the death of a Georgian luger at the same track on the eve of the Olympics.

Sleds from Liechtenstein and Australia also turned over in the first bobsleigh heat, while hosts Canada crashed in the second run.

The British and Australian teams were disqualified from the second heat having failed to finish their first runs.

The Australian sled crashed shortly after pilot Jeremy Rolleston had difficulty getting seated at the start.

Liechtenstein duo Michael Klingler and Thomas Duerr also lost control of their sled but remained in the competition after crossing the finishing line.

Britain's bobsleigh sled
The GB1 car overturned on the Whistler track

The British pair hugged each other in relief after they escaped with minor injuries and Money climbed into the grandstand to reassure family and friends he was ok.

Money, who suffered a gash on his left calf, said: "The track's fast, the fastest track in the world but it's a technical track. If you get it wrong at a high speed it can go very wrong.

"This can happen - it's bobsleigh, it's not ballet dancing. We'll just have to come back for the four-man."

Jackson had bloody scrapes underneath his shoulder blades after being dragged along the ice while stuck inside his overturned sled.

He said: "I can't wear my race jersey because my back is stinging."

Despite their narrow escape, the pair will return on Friday when they join forces with Allyn Condon and Henry Nwume in the four-man bobsleigh.

Earlier, Games organisers Vanoc had stressed the bobsleigh federation (FIBT) was happy with the track despite several injuries to athletes during training.

Swiss brakeman Daniel Egger suffered a spine injury after crashing during a practice heat on Friday, prompting he and driver Daniel Schmid to withdraw from the competition.

And American women's bobsledder Shauna Rohbock branded the track "stupid fast".

But Tim Gayda, Vanoc's vice president of sport, said: "The FIBT is extremely happy with the track and happy to race on it. We listen to them, they are the experts."

Safety concerns have been heightened following the death of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in training. His funeral was held in Georgia on Saturday.

"To make it 100% safe you would need to put the track in a tube and that is not what the sport is about," said Gayda.

"My heart goes out to Nodar. It is something that has hit us all. But the incident that happened was extremely unfortunate and something no-one could have predicted.

"We've always maintained the track is safe. Both federations (FIBT and luge federation FIL) are part of the design process.

"It was they who recommended the designer we used. Both federations signed off on the design of the track."

Kevin Kuske and Andre Lange

The Germans, led by Andre Lange, lead the way after day one



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see also
GB crash in two-man bobsleigh
21 Feb 10 |  Bobsleigh
Lange bids for fourth gold
21 Feb 10 |  Bobsleigh
Bobsleigh
09 Feb 10 |  Bobsleigh
Olympic luger buried in Georgia
20 Feb 10 |  Europe


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