• Short Summary

    West Germany laid claim to the Olympic four man bobsleigh gold medal in Innsbruck on Sunday (11 January), in a dress rehearsal for next month's winter games.

  • Description

    SV Austrian second team leaving the start and down track

    GV PAN Austrian team continues down track (2 shots)

    SV Austria's first team leaves start

    GV Austria's first team down track

    SV PAN FROM Result board DOWN TO Austrian One team

    GV PAN East German team on track, and on to finish for third place

    SV West Germany leaving start and on to finish to win the event (4 shots)

    A dress rehearsal for the Winter Olympic Game's bobsleigh championship was held in Innsbruck, Austria, over the weekend. Teams from Austria, Switzerland, East and West Germany took part on the new bobsleigh and toboggan run built specially for the Winter Olympics. Here, the Austrian second team race down the coiled run into second place.

    Austria's first team was not as successful. They finished fourth out of the eight teams in the competition.

    Because of the poor visibility and heavy rain, the organisers were forced to reduce the number of races from four to three.

    It was the first real test for the new course. It coils for more than three and a half thousand feet down the mountainside, and in that time, drops three hundred feet.

    The run is one of the world's fastest artificial ice courses in the world and speeds of more than eighty miles an hour were reached during the competition.

    The winner of the competition was the West German team seen here leaving the starting gate. The team of Heibl, Morantz, Radant and Ohlwaerter, set a course record on the first day of the competition.

    They must now be all set to take a gold medal at the Winter Olympics which start in Innsbruck early next month.

    Initials BB/0050 DE/AW/BB/0115


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: West Germany laid claim to the Olympic four man bobsleigh gold medal in Innsbruck on Sunday (11 January), in a dress rehearsal for next month's winter games.

    The West German number two bobsleigh team won the two day Nations Cup competition, reduced from four races to three because of rain and poor visibility. The event took place on the newly-built Olympic course.

    The West German team of Heibl, Morantz, Rabandt and Ohlwaerter, set a course record on Saturday in the first race. In the last race they coasted in fifth fastest, but still finished first.

    Several teams from West Germany, Austria, East Germany and Switzerland took part. West Germany's winning time was 2 minutes 46.3 seconds. Austria's second team finished second while the first East German team took third place.

    The new bobsleigh and toboggan run is the pride of the Olympics complex. It cost about GBP2 1/2 million (about 5 million dollars) to build and it coils 3,660 feet (about 1,330 metres) down the mountainside. It drops 300 feet (90 metres) in altitude and has an average gradient of one in twelve.

    It's one of the world's fastest artificial ice runs and has five cooling plants to keep it at the right temperature throughout the year.

    It's the most expensive project for the Olympic organisers and will be available to all bobsleigh and toboggan enthusiasts whether champions or beginners.

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