WHISTLER (Reuters) - Minor changes are being made to one of the corners on Whistler’s controversial sliding track after Latvian and Croatian four-man sleds rolled over in a supplementary Olympic training session on Monday.
International Bobsleigh Federation (FITB) officials decided on the alterations after a lengthy meeting with 11 team captains after the session, not an official training run, was postponed until later on Monday.
The problems were occurring at corner 11, the start of the toughest section of the 16-corner track which witnessed the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili on the day of the Olympic Games opening ceremony.
“As people moved from the women’s start to the top of the track for their supplementary runs some drivers have been experiencing difficulties transitioning from turn 11 to turn 12,” FITB spokesman Don Krone told reporters.
“The FIBT track commission, in conjunction with VANOC track crew and with advice from a number of team captains are working on the shape of turn 11 to make it easier for drivers to get high enough on 11 to turn into 12 so that they can successfully make it through 13.”
United States team captain Brian Shimer said the changes would help drivers set up for corner 13 which caught out a number of crews in the two-man bobsleigh competition, including Canadian medal prospect Lyndon Rush.
“At not even up to speed, the curve (13) was true to its name today. I was 50-50 today,” Shimer said.
Krone said it was normal that the profile of corners is changed during a competition when it is being used by other sliding disciplines.
The next medal action at Whistler’s track is on Tuesday and Wednesday with the women’s bobsleigh.
Editing by Jon Bramley