Bobsleigh: European championships

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The Independent Online
MARK TOUT, the British bobsleigh champion, and his crew were in second place after yesterday's first two runs of the four-man competition at the European Championships in St Moritz in Switzerland, writes Our Correspondent.

If the 32-year-old army corporal in the Second Royal Tank Regiment can hold his top three position in Great Britain I after today's final two runs, he will win Britain's first medal in major competition since John Blockey's two bronzes in the 1968 European Championships.

Tout, and his crew of Chris Symonds, Courtney Rumbott and Lenny Paul, trail Switzerland's Olympic two-man champion, Gustav Weder, by 0.23sec, with a time of 2min 06.54sec. They were only 0.02sec slower than Weder on yesterday's second run.

In last year's Winter Olympics competition at La Plagne in the French Alps, Tout and Paul led the two-man competition at the half-way stage only to finish a disappointing sixth.

Britain's other driver, Sean Olsson, who won his first World Cup medal with third place in the two-man event at La Plagne last month, was in 10th place overnight with a time of 2:07.33.

EUROPEAN FOUR-MAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (St Moritz, Swit): Leading results after the first day's two runs: 1 Switzerland II (G Weder/D Acklin/K Meier/D Semeraro) 2min 06.31sec (1:02.99/1:03.32); 2 Great Britain I (M Tout/C Symonds/C Rumbolt/L Paul) 2:06.54 (1:03.20/ 1:03.34); 3 Austria II (H Schosser/G Redl/H Winkler/G Haidhacker) 2:06.59 (1:03.10/1:03.49); 4 Germany II (D Wiese/C Bartsch/O Rogge/W Haupt) 2:06.61 (1:03.24/ 1:03.37); 5 Switzerland I (C Meili/B Gerber/C Reich/G Loffler) 2:06.76 (1:03.30/1:03.46); 6 Germany III (S Dostthaler/H Phillipp/M Sehr/O Hampel) 2:06.94 (1:03.41/ 1:03.53). Other GB: 10 Great Britain II (S Olsson/V Bramble/D Ward/E Sekwalor) 2:07.33 (1:03.59/1:03.74).

(Photograph omitted)