Sochi Olympics Bobsleigh Jamaican Problems

Jamaican bobsled team reclaims their lost luggage, equipment (UPDATED)

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UPDATE (8 p.m. ET): Crisis over for the Jamaican bobsled team, which has managed to get hold of its missing luggage and equipment this evening. The team confirmed the good news on their official Twitter account with the message: “Have no fear, our gear is safe.”

After qualifying for the Sochi Olympics and then having to raise $80,000 just to make the trip, the Jamaican bobsled team arrived in Russia but were unable to begin training today because of the missing items. According to the Associated Press, that luggage included the runners for the country’s two-man sled.

Watts indicated that he would have to borrow equipment from other nations if their gear didn’t arrive soon.

“We have a lot guys who’s going to help us,” he said according to USA Today. “They want to help us.”

Prior to heading for Sochi, the team had been training at their American base in Wyoming and Utah, where they also made a stop at the Sundance Film Festival to promote their run to the Olympics.

MORE: U.S. women’s bobsledders go by nicknames in “wolfpack”

The program, made famous by the 1993 Disney film “Cool Runnings,” had to drum up that aforementioned sum of $80,000 following their qualification in the two-man event. In two days, fans from around the world had thrown in more than $120,000 before crowd funding was stopped.

Sochi will mark the sixth Winter Olympics that has featured the Jamaican bobsled team. The best bobsled finish for the country overall is a 14th-place effort in the four-man at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. In its most recent Olympic appearance, Jamaica placed 28th in the two-man at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

Francesco Friedrich wins historic fourth straight bobsled world title

German bob team, Francesco Friedrich, right, and Thorsten Margis, celebrate their victory  after the men's  two-man bob race at the  Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships at Lake Koenigssee, Germany, Sunday Feb. 19. 2017. (Angelika Warmuth/dpa via AP)
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KOENIGSSEE, Germany (AP) — Germany’s Francesco Friedrich was again fastest in both runs to extend his lead and beat Justin Kripps of Canada for his fourth straight world championship in two-man bobsled on Sunday.

Friedrich, who held a 0.52-lead from Saturday’s opening heats, clocked 49.17 seconds and then 48.94 with his brakeman Thorsten Margis for a combined time of 3 minutes, 16.71 seconds after four runs — 1.20 ahead of Kripps and Jesse Lumsden.

The 26-year-old Friedrich says “We were simply unbeatable this week.”

Germany’s Johannes Lochner was 1.25 back in third with Joshua Bluhm, ahead of Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis of Latvia, Nick Poloniato and Neville Wright of Canada, and Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga of Latvia.

American pilot Steven Holcomb was seventh with Carlo Valdes, 1.68 back.

A skeleton and bobsled team competition was scheduled later Sunday.

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Marcel Hirscher reclaims slalom title, wraps up ‘perfect worlds’

ST MORITZ, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 17:  Gold medalist Marcel Hirscher of Austria celebrates on the podium following the Men's Giant Slalom during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on February 17, 2017 in St Moritz, Switzerland.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Austrian Marcel Hirscher reclaimed the slalom world title, wrapping up what he called “the perfect world championships” with two golds and one silver in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Hirscher, the five-time reigning World Cup overall champion, prevailed by .68 of a second combining two runs. Fellow Austrian Manuel Feller earned silver, followed by German Felix Neureuther, .93 behind.

Hirscher’s biggest slalom rival, Henrik Kristoffersen, was a disappointing fourth, giving Norway fourth-place finishers in all five men’s events at worlds.

The top American was David Chodounsky in 12th.

Full Results | Race Replay

Hirscher led by .43 after the morning run and had the third-fastest second run. He finished worlds with golds in the giant slalom and slalom and silver in the super combined, missing gold by .01. All that despite entering worlds sick, reportedly spending days ill in bed.

He said that super combined silver, and especially his maiden GS title, took the pressure off Sunday.

“It was super easy for me, mentally, to [go] into this race,” Hirscher said. “It doesn’t matter if I straddle at the first gate. The only thing that wouldn’t be fine is skiing slow.”

Hirscher is en route to his sixth straight World Cup overall title this season. No other man has won that many, consecutive or not. He previously won the slalom world title in 2013, then was upset at the Sochi Olympics, taking silver behind countryman Mario Matt, who at 34 became the oldest Olympic Alpine champion.

Hirscher led the 2015 Worlds slalom by .88 after the first run, then straddled a gate near the end of the second run while his lead was evaporating.

Hirscher has already proven his excellence on the World Cup and world championships stages. It’s PyeongChang where he must deliver, since he lacks Olympic gold. Hirscher is only 27 years old, but he has cast doubt on going all the way to the 2022 Winter Games.

Feller, 24, took surprise silver without a World Cup podium to his name.

Neureuther earned his third straight world slalom medal, but none have been gold.

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