Phil Bellingham and Seve de Campo braved tough conditions, while Bree Walker and Kiara Reddingius fell short of the top 10 on Day 15 of the Winter Olympics.
Men’s Cross-country Skiing 50km Mass Start Free
The fifth and final cross-country skiing event Phil Bellingham and Seve de Campo faced at this year’s Winter Olympics was arguably their most brutal.
The pair would have known heading in that the 50km mass start free would be their toughest challenge at the Beijing games.
But the task was made even more difficult by the strong winds and cold conditions, which caused the event to be delayed by one hour and shortened from 50km to 30km.
The duo were ultimately hard to split, finishing within two places of each other.
De Campo came 51st with a time of 1:21:02.5, with Bellingham finishing 53rd just over two minutes later with a time of 1:23:03.8.
It was a valiant effort by both men to complete the race in the trying conditions, and caps off a Winter Olympics where they competed in five cross-country skiing events together.
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Bree Walker (pilot) and Kiara Reddingius (brakewoman) fell short of a top 10 finish in the two-woman bobsleigh, after a slow final run.
They went into the second day of the event in 12th with a combined time of 2:04.09, after a particularly strong second heat.
The duo started well with a time of 1:02.04 (their second fastest of the event) in the third heat, finding speed towards the end.
That time was initially good enough to put them in the top 10, though Canadian pair Melissa Lotholz and Sara Villani later pushed them back into 11th.
Unfortunately in their fourth and final heat, Walker and Reddingius recorded their slowest time of the event, 1:02.51.
They had a slow start where they found the ice, spelling an end to their top 10 hopes despite a fast finish.
Walker and Reddingius ultimately finished in 16th with a total time of 4:08.64.
While it was tough to see the pair fall at the final hurdle, they were just two places off Australia’s best finish in the history of the event (14th by Astrid Loch-Wilkinson and Kylie Reed at Italy 2006).
The event was also Reddingius’ Olympic debut, while Walker enjoyed a strong Beijing games after finishing fifth in the Women’s Monobob.
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