T&T closed the first day of competition in the two-man bobsleigh competition at the ongoing Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China in 27th place of the 30 countries on Monday.

At the Yanqing National Sliding Centre, the local team of pilot Axel Brown and brakeman Andre Marcano managed a combined time of two minutes and 01.70 seconds (2:01.70) after the first two heats.

T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis was present to cheer on British-born Brown and Marcano along with alternate athlete Shakeel John, TTOC secretary general Annette Knott, Chef de Mission Lovie Santana and COVID Liaison Officer (CLO) Rheeza Grant.

"In the context of where T&T programme would have come from it's a decent day at the office," said Lewis yesterday after the two heats. "What was important finishing, completing thje course, not crashing so all in all a good day at the office for Team TTO and credit to the team."

In the opening slide the T&T pair, supported by their coach Thomas Harris, clocked 1:00.81 to finish 28th with a start time of 5.33. Topping the opening heat was joint defending champion, the German team of pilot Francesco Friedrich and brakeman Thorsten Margis with a record-breaking slide of 59.02 to better the track record and also break the start record with 4.94. Germany other team of Johannes Lochner and Florian Bauer with 59.26 sits in second place while third is the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team of Rostislav Gaitiukevich and Aleksei Laptev (59.41).

After heat two, the top three remained unchanged with Friedrich and Margis in first place with a combined time of 1:58.38, Lochner and Bauer (1:58.53), and Gaitiukevich and Laptev (1:59.32), in second and third place, respectively.

Fellow joint reigning champion Canada's Justin Kripps and new partner Cam Stones, are in 10th spot with an accumulated time of 1:59.69.

T&T returned in the second heat with a 1:00.89-timing to move up to 27th position, respectively, ahead of USA ‘B' team (2:01.78), Brazil (2:02.47), and Jamaica (Shanwayne Stephens and Nimroy Turgott) with 2:02.58.

Lewis added: "A lot to be proud of. T&T Team TTO is the first time back at the Winter Olympics after two decades and the guys represented themselves with pride and honour.

"As I said, it's about punching above your weight. There is a lot that you can point to in terms of other teams, in terms of resources, in terms of cost of the sled, in terms of the experience factor so in TTOC's perspective, we are very proud about the effort put out by Team TTO here in Beijing today (Monday) so it's about resting up for tomorrow (Tuesday) and giving it your best shot."

The third slide takes place on Tuesday from 8.15 am (TT time) and each nation’s three rides will be tallied and the 20 fastest countries, according to their accumulated times, will advance to the medal round (fourth round). In this round, each country will race once and the fastest three times of the fourth round will determine first, second and third.

Source: https://guardian.co.tt