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WINTER OLYMPICS : Other Sports : Soviet Gets on Track for Bobsled Upset

February 21, 1988|From Times Wire Services

CALGARY, Canada — The Soviet Union's Ianis Kipours, aided by deteriorating track conditions that slowed defending gold medalist Wolfgang Hoppe, jumped from fourth to first on the second run in the Olympic two-man bobsled Saturday to set up what could be one of the Games' biggest upsets.

The beleaguered U.S. team, meanwhile, could manage no higher than 20th place with two heats remaining today.

Team member Willie Gault, a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears, did not compete but did slide down the track as one of the "forerunners" who test the course before the races.

Hoppe, 30, of East Germany, bettered the course record by more than two seconds on his first run, covering the 4,838-foot track in 57.06 seconds.

But he slowed to 59.26 on his second run as the sun and temperatures in the low 60s compounded the damage the sleds routinely do to the ice.

Kipours, 30, who finished fourth at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, in 1984, combined with brakeman Vladimir Kozlov for times of 57.43 and 58.05 for a total of 1:55.48, nearly a second faster than Hoppe and brakeman Bogdan Musiol at 1:56.32.

Brent Rushlaw of Saranac Lake, N.Y., drove USA 1 to 20th place with a two-run time of 1:59.14. Matt Roy of Lake Placid, N.Y., was 24th after driving USA 2 to a time of 1:59.43.

Prince Albert of Monaco finished 23rd after the first two runs with a time of 1:59.41.

Linda Moore of Canada and Eigel Ramsfjell of Norway won the gold medals in curling, a demonstration sport.

Moore overcame a 4-2 deficit and some poor shot-making in the early ends to beat Sweden's Elisabeth Hogstrom, 7-5.

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