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article imageZubkov runs away with two-man gold

    Feb 17, 2014 in Sports

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Russian Alexander Zubkov finally secured the Olympic bobsleigh gold he came out of retirement to win when he powered to the two-man title at the Sochi Games on Monday.

The 39-year-old, Russia's flagbearer at the Games opening ceremony, proved uncatchable on home ice and sealed victory with two more solid runs in front of an exuberant crowd at the Sanki Sliding Center whose chants of 'ROSSIYA' echoed down the valley.

Pushed by formidable brakeman and Sochi native Alexey Voevoda, a former arm wrestling world champion, Zubkov extended his first-day lead to half a second with a track record 56.08 seconds on his third run and was quickest of all again on his final slide.

The podium placings remained as they had overnight, Zubkov winning by 0.66 seconds with Switzerland's Beat Hefti taking silver and Steve Holcomb of the United States in bronze.

Zubkov briefly entered politics after winning a bronze with Voevoda in Vancouver four years ago before returning to the sport in a bid to win gold at his home Games. The pair also won Olympic silver in Russia's four-man sled in 2006.

(Reporting by Justin Palmer, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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