America’s Erin Hamlin scored a bronze medal in Women’s Luge at Sochi Tuesday
Hamlin came into the final run third behind two German sliders: Natalie Geisenberger, who was over a second ahead the runs, and Tatjana Huefner, who was only 0.169 ahead or Hamlin.
The battle in the final run was for silver and bronze. Geisenberger had been guaranteed to win gold from the first run: she was the only slider to break fifty seconds on the 15-turn Sanki track, and she did it on her first three runs.
All three women made error-free runs; the difference in speed was down to minutia—which slider could hold a better aero position, which could use the least steering input to hit the smoothest line with no skidding.
Geisenberer, who ran last, was once again fastest with a run of 50.189—she didn’t need to push because her place atop the podium was already secured.
Huefner turned in a run of 50.279 seconds for a total time of 3:20.907, 1.139 seconds behind her victorious countrymate and 0.838 ahead of Hamlin, whose final run of 50.348 was .69 seconds slower.
The U.S. had three women in the final fifteen: 19-year-old Summer Britcher in fifteenth, 21-year-old Kate Hansen, in tenth, and 27-year-old Erin Hamlin, third after three rounds.
All three finished in their final-run starting position.