KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Elfje Willemsen was adamant. The fourth-place sled at the midpoint of the women's bobsled competition at the Sochi Olympics, she said, has almost no chance of getting into the medal mix.
That might seem a bit harsh.
Then again, Willemsen's opinion matters here since she's the driver of that fourth-place sled.
"Not hopeful at all," Willemsen said when asked about her medal chances going into Wednesday night's final two runs at the Sanki Sliding Center. "If we can catch the third, that will be unbelievable. But I don't think that will happen."
She's probably right. It's a three-sled race right now for medals at the Sochi Games.
Elana Meyers of Douglasville, Ga. and Lauryn Williams of Rochester, Pa. are the leaders after two runs, their time of 1 minute, 54.89 seconds giving USA-1 a lead of 0.23 seconds over Canada's reigning gold medalists, Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse.
Jamie Greubel of Newtown, Pa. and Aja Evans of Chicago are third, another 0.33 seconds back — and nearly a half-second ahead of Willemsen and Hanna Emilie Marien of Belgium.
So as has been the norm in sliding at these Olympics, there's a huge gap in the standings. And for Meyers and Williams, gold is two clean runs away.
"This whole ride has been awesome," said Williams, who's bidding to win her second Olympic gold medal — to go along with the one she won as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team at the London Games in 2010. "I never would have thought I'd be here six months ago and here I am. God couldn't have sent me anything better than this opportunity."
If USA-1 wins, Williams will be the second Olympian ever with a summer gold and winter gold in two different sports.