Article by Eryk Bagshaw courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald.
YANQING: Monobob racer Bree Walker has piloted Australia to its best Olympic bobsled result, coming fifth in the singles on the sliding track in Yanqing and setting herself up for another medal tilt in the team event later this week.
Walker went head-to-head with the three medallists from the US and Canada in Monday’s final heats, pulling out a final run of 1:05 to finish two seconds behind eventual gold medallist – Kaillie Humphries, the greatest women’s bobsledder of all time, and just 0.43 seconds behind bronze.
“All I can say is never count an Aussie out,” Walker told Seven after the race. “I’m so chuffed.”
Walker pulled back the leaders over the course of the four heats, with the winner decided by total combined time. The 29-year-old was 10th after the first heat, seventh after the second, and fifth after the third. Australia’s previous results include a 23rd place in Calgary in 1988, and Jana Pittman and Astrid Radjenovic’s 14th in Sochi in 2014.
Walker’s result comes after Jackie Narracott’s silver in the skeleton on the same track, Australia’s first medal in the sliding sports in Olympic history.
Walker, a former 400-metre hurdler from Melbourne, will partner with brakewoman Kiara Reddingius for the two-women events heats on Wednesday and Thursday.
The pair finished seventh in the world monobob series event in Winterburg last year.