Francesco Friedrich put Germany back on track in sliding sports at the Winter Olympics by leading a one-two-three, as he continued his bobsleigh dominance to retain the two-man title with Thorsten Margis - but there was drama as Team GB crashed during the third run.
British pair Brad Hall and Nick Gleeson went into the event with hopes of a medal, but they were ended after two sub-par runs on the opening day. Heading into the final heats, they sat 11th and with Hall looking to push the limits of the sled, they crashed in the penultimate run before recovering to return for the final round, eventually finishing an impressive 11th given the circumstances - where they started the day.
Friedrich saw off a challenge from his rival German pilot Johannes Lochner, who finished with a silver medal alongside Florian Bauer, with Christoph Hafer and Matthias Sommer taking bronze. It is the first time there has ever been a German sweep of medals in Olympic bobsleigh.
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Going into day two, Friedrich was under pressure from Lochner but began heat three with a 0.15-second advantage. But he began on fire, setting a new track record in the first run of the day. Lochner followed that up with his worst run of the competition so far, meaning Friedrich’s advantage immediately jumped to 0.45 seconds.
Luckily for Lochner, the Russian Olympic Committee pair of Rostislav Gaitiukevich and Aleksei Laptev were not able to eat away at the gap between themselves and bronze medal position, which was to be occupied by another German pair, as pilot Hafer moved up to third alongside Sommer.

Brad Hall and Nick Gleeson of Team Great Britain crash during the 2-man Bobsleigh Heat 3 on day 11 of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Sliding Centre on February 15, 2022 in Yanqing, China

Image credit: Getty Images

Despite starting the Games with high expectations, sliding has not gone Britain’s way so far at Beijing 2022 and Hall was to deliver the first crash of the men’s competition. With the pilot desperate to claw back some time, he lost control on turn 14 causing the sled to topple. It still crossed the line at speed and after an anxious wait, both Hall and Gleeson emerged looking relatively unharmed.
As they crashed near the bottom of the course, not much time was lost, meaning they did enough to qualify for one more run by placing 13th at the end of the round.
In the final heat, sleds go in reverse order, so Hall and Gleeson were back out fairly early. They recovered with their second fastest run of 59.96, navigating the course fairly cleanly, giving them an undoubted confidence boost ahead of the four-man.
The teams from Monaco, Austria and Switzerland all tried to put pressure on the Germans, but a clean run by Hafer guaranteed them a medal. Lochner needed the run of his life to deny Friedrich another Olympic gold - but put down the slowest of his efforts so far, though it was enough to move into silver medal position.
Friedrich rarely makes mistakes and that was the case once again, as he crossed the line to secure a clean sweep of Germans on the podium.
It means the nation are back to dominating the sliding events, after Kaillie Humphries disrupted the rhythm by winning the women's monobob gold.
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