Rosa Khutor (Russia) (AFP) - The four-man Olympic bobsleigh competition is set for a thrilling finale after the Russian team piloted by Alexander Zubkov earned a lead of just 0.04sec at the half-way stage of the competition.
Zubkov, targeting his second gold of the Games after winning the two-man event, clocked a combined time of 1min 50.19sec after two runs, a whisker in front of the Latvia-1 team piloted by Oskars Melbardis.
On his first run, Zubkov, who won silver in the four-man event at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, set a new track record with a time of 54.82sec.
Melbardis's sled, fifth after the first run, clocked the best time in the second run (55.13sec) to finish 0.12sec ahead of the Germany-1 crew, piloted by World Cup four-man title winner Maximilian Arndt.
The pilot of Canada-3, Justin Kripps, made a serious mistake at the 16th curve during his second run and his bobsleigh flipped, crossing the finish line on his side.The team were uninjured.
The four-man medal winners will be decided after the third and fourth runs on Sunday. The times of all four runs are added together to determine the winner.