Bobsleigh 2-man fire in runs 1 & 2
19 February 2018
BOBSLEIGH: Aussie bobsleighers Lucas Mata and David Mari have kicked off their 2018 Olympic campaign tonight with two blistering runs in the 2-man event, finishing the night one place outside the top 20.
The pair put down a huge opening run to start their Olympic campaign, speeding down the track in 49.88 – the fastest time Mata has ever put down at the Alpensia Sliding Centre, but the pilot still noted things to improve on.
“The first run I was a little disappointed, I knew there were things I could fix,” Mata said.
“The last run in training was super quick so I knew if I laid it down I’d be in the mix.”
“It’s race and that’s what we’re here for, so let’s do it.”
The Aussies finished run 1 in 22th place, with only +0.80 seconds separating them from the Latvia crew that lead after round one.
Run 2 appeared slower from nearly all crews, with the Aussies managing to put down a 50.04, jumping the Polish pair and putting them into 21st position.
“To pick up a spot after run 2 and be in 21st puts me in a good position with Dave,” Mata said.
“I think we can definitely nab a spot in the top 20.”
Mari echoed his pilot’s thoughts, focusing on the things to work on before tomorrow’s final runs.
“The first run we pushed well but I felt that we could run a little further so the second run we did that,” Mari said on his Olympic debut.
“It feels great but the race isn’t over yet and we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
After pushing off as the third sled initially, the Aussies faced a long wait between runs tonight as they were the 22nd crew down the track for the second run, which Mari felt affected run 2.
“With such a long time between the heats, I think that impacted our push a little bit which is why it was a little slower.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow, Mata said preparation will be similar to today with an extra bit of fire to “get the boys going.”
“Just prepare again the same and just fire it up even more. That’s the only thing we can do.
“We’ve got a good chance here to finish the best Australia’s ever finished so we’ve just got to lay it down.”
Mata and Mari are chasing Australia’s best result of 19th place, secured at the Vancouver 2010 Games by Duncan Harvey, Anthony Dean and Chris Spring, but Mata said it’s a tough spot to be in.
“I know after training that we were in good spot, so we just need to do it tomorrow.
The 2-man bobsleigh athletes will return to the track tomorrow evening, where runs 3 and 4 will decide who walks away as Olympic Champion.