Host City: Nagano, Japan
Venue(s): The Spiral, Asakawa, Nagano
Date Started: February 20, 1998
Date Finished: February 21, 1998
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
Whilst German sleds had won the last three editions of the world championship the German team arrived in Japan without the 1997 champion [Wolfgang Hoppe] who had retired at the end of the 1997 season. Strong candidates for the medal positions came from as many as eight different countries which was a sign that international competition had become much closer in the preceding years.
Bad weather marred the first day of competition and the scheduled second run was cancelled. The Germany II sled piloted by [Christoph Langen] was the only crew to record consistently good times over the first two completed runs and held a healthy lead entering the final run. They avoided any serious mistakes and posted a time that gave them a comfortable victory. Behind Langen the other medals were decided by miniscule margins. France were in sixth place after the second run, behind a trio tied for third place, and they were forced to ensure a nervous wait after they completed their run. Both the second Swiss sled and USA I missed the French total time by just 0.02 of a second whilst the British team finished absolutely level with France in what was to prove a tie for bronze behind Switzerland I. France had competed in Olympic bobsleigh since the inaugural event in 1924 but had never before won a medal of any colour. Great Britain’s wait was not quite as long but it had still been 44 years since the British flag had been hoisted at a bobsleigh medal ceremony.
|25||Bosnia and Herzegovina||BIH||2:45.67|
|29||United States Virgin Islands||ISV||2:47.16|