Switzerland's Francoise Burdet came agonisingly close to a medal in the first ever women's Olympic bobsleigh race, missing out on bronze by just five hundredths of a second.This content was published on February 20, 2002 - 02:32
Burdet and her brakewoman Katharina Sutter recorded the fastest time during Tuesday's second run but were unable to pull themselves up the rankings after finishing their opening run in fourth place.
After briefly taking the lead, the two Swiss women had to watch as their time was narrowly beaten by Germany 2. Germany 1 and the American bob driven by Jill Bakken then maintained their first run advantages to take silver and gold respectively.
"Clearly it was a very close thing, but that's always the way in the bob," a disappointed Burdet told Swiss television. "I was the lightest of the pilots here and this course isn't particularly suited to crews who are trying to catch up.
"Our first run wasn't bad and our second run was very good," Burdet added, "but it just wasn't enough."
As a three-time overall World Cup winner and 2001 world champion, Burdet was widely tipped to add to Switzerland's six medal haul with what would have been the country's third bobsleigh medal in three days.
Trend of surprises
Instead the 34-year-old from Silvaplana has unintentionally continued a trend that has seen some of Switzerland's top medal hopes suffer upsets while their lesser known compatriots shine.
All three of Switzerland's gold medal wins in Salt Lake City have come from highly unexpected sources, with 20-year-old Simon Ammann's historic double win in the ski-jumping being followed up by the surprise victory of the appropriately named Philipp Schoch in the alpine snowboarding.
But as well as seeing Burdet finish fourth in the bob, Swiss sports fans have suffered surprise disappointments in the freestyle skiing, with hot favourite Evelyn Leu crashing out of both her jumps, and in the men's super-G race where Didier Cuche lost control of his skis when just seconds away from a likely gold medal.
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