Bob teams miss out
Switzerland's bobsledders were unable to add any more medals to the country's Winter Olympic haul on Saturday, after a disappointing performance in the fourth and final run.
Switzerland 1, driven by World Cup rankings leader Martin Annen, had appeared to be in a strong position to clinch the 12th Swiss medal of the Salt Lake Games after finishing both the second and third runs in second position.
But a slow start and some minor errors were enough to let the two American crews leap above Annen to take the silver and bronze.
The four-man gold medal went to German Olympic rookie Andre Lange who finished with a relatively comfortable cushion of 0.3 seconds over America 1. The second American bob was a further five hundredths of a second behind, with Annen's crew missing out on bronze by nine hundredths of a second.
After finishing the first Olympic run in second place, Christian Reich's Switzerland 2 continued their fall down the rankings before finally settling for sixth place.
Neither Annen nor Reich will be leaving the Salt Lake Games empty-handed, with both men having already grabbed medals in the two-man bob.
Reich and his brakeman Steve Anderhub took the silver, while Annen and Beat Hefti secured the bronze.
Those earlier results in the two-man discipline contributed to an impressive overall effort by the Swiss delegation who are now set to return from Salt Lake with 11 Olympic medals.
The final tally, which far exceeds Swiss Olympic's original seven medal target, represents the best Swiss showing at the Winter Games since the country's 15 medal haul at Calgary in 1988.
Purely in terms of medals won, Switzerland's showing in Salt Lake marks the country's joint second best performance at the Winter Olympics following further 11 medal hauls at the 1948 St Moritz Games and at Sapporo in 1972.
It is often pointed out, in defence of the athletes of yesteryear, that the total number of medals available at the Games has more than doubled since 1972 and more than tripled since 1948. However the number of nations and athletes competing for those medals has also grown accordingly.
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