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Swiss win bronze in two-man bob

Martin Annen (left) and Beat Hefti on the way to a medal Keystone

The two-man bobsleigh team of Martin Annen and Beat Hefti have won a bronze medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.

This content was published on February 19, 2006 - 20:11

The German team of Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske won the race, with Canada's Pierre Lueders and Lascelles Brown coming second in the competition on Sunday.

Lange and brakeman Kuske battled heavy snow to finish with a four-run time of three minutes 43.38 seconds to take gold. The Canadian team was 0.21 seconds behind and the Swiss 0.35 seconds off the pace.

In winning the bronze, pilot Annen and brakeman Hefti duplicated their Olympic feat of four years ago in Salt Lake City.

Assessing Sunday's performance on the bob run at Cesana, Annen said the Swiss I team had been solid.

"We tried to give our all in the last heat so as not to have any regrets," he said. "We don't have any now. We risked everything and the result is there."

The 32-year-old cheesemaker from Arth in central Switzerland said he was particularly pleased to have gained the best time on the last run.

He added that he was looking forward to the four-man competition, in which he will have the chance to compete against fellow pilot Lange later this week. He added that this time the medal "should be of a different colour".

Carpenter Hefti, who is 28-years-old and also from central Switzerland, will also be taking part in the four-man race.

Rare double

Lange, who won a four-man gold four years ago in Salt Lake City, will chase a rare double in the four-man competition on February 24-25.

Sunday's victory for the Germany I team came after the sled narrowly avoided a major mishap on Saturday when Kuske slipped at the start of the second run, injuring himself. He was later cleared to start Sunday's runs.

The Canada I team were also celebrating their medal. Jamaican-born brakeman Brown was granted Canadian citizenship only a few days before the Games.

All the bob teams had to battle heavy snow conditions. Race officials even considered interrupting the event because of poor visibility.

The other Swiss team of Ivo Rüegg and Cédric Grand finished in eighth place.

This latest Swiss medal brings the country's total to eight.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Two-man bob results:
1. Germany (Lange/Kuske)
2. Canada (Lueders/Brown)
3. Switzerland (Annen/Hefti)
8. Switzerland (Rüegg/Grand)

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In brief

Pilot Martin Annen (32) lives in Arth, central Switzerland. He is 1m 81cm tall and weighs 102kgs.

His successes: Olympic bronze in two-man bob in 2006 and 2002, World Championships third in two-man bob in 2005 and 2001, World Cup winner in two-man bob in 2005, 2002 and 2001, in four-man bob in 2002.

Brakeman Beat Hefti (28) lives in Schwellbrunn, in central Switzerland. He is 1m 83cm tall and weighs 103kgs.

His successes: Olympic bronze in two-man bob in 2006 and 2002, World Championships second in four-man bob in 1999, World Championships third in two-man bob in 2005 and 2001.

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