Friedrich wins four-man World Championship 

German pilot pairs Saturday win with two-man victory

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - Canadian pilot Justin Kripps, with teammates Ryan Sommer, Ben Coakwell and Cam Stones, celebrate their third-place finish in four-man bobsleigh at Whistler Sliding Centre on Saturday night.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • Canadian pilot Justin Kripps, with teammates Ryan Sommer, Ben Coakwell and Cam Stones, celebrate their third-place finish in four-man bobsleigh at Whistler Sliding Centre on Saturday night.

Germany's Francesco Friedrich capped an incredible 2018-19 season with his second gold at the BMW IBSF World Championships in as many weekends.

Fresh off sliding to two-man victory on March 2, the pilot hit the top of the podium again in the four-man race at Whistler Sliding Centre on March 9. His team, which also included Candy Bauer, Martin Grothkopp and Thorsten Margis, won the final three heats to best sleds driven by Latvia's Oskars Kibermanis and Canada's Justin Kripps.

Friedrich, who has historically had mixed results on the Whistler track, was near perfect at the World Championships-and overcame some pain to do it.

"It feels so great and we did a great job (even) with an injury to one of my legs," said Friedrich after capturing the second four-man World Championship of his career. "It feels so good and I feel so happy and proud of our best."

Kripps, whose sled included Ryan Summer, Ben Coakwell and Cameron Stones, was proud to become the first Canadian to take home a World Championships medal in four-man since Pierre Lueders in 2007. He also became the first Canuck driver to medal in both two- and four-man events at the same event since Lueders in 2005.

"We were really happy to get the two-man medal, obviously, but it's a little bit sweeter to get the four-man because we haven't had much success in four-man," he said. "It's been awhile, too, since Canada's won a four-man medal at World Champs, so it's pretty awesome."

Kripps said it was also gratifying to have such success considering the foursome was a new team this year. While Stones and Coakwell are veterans, Sommer is a relative newcomer and quickly learned under the old hands.

The other Canadian sleds, Chris Spring with William Auclair, Dexter Janke and Neville Wright, and Nick Poloniato, Keefer Joyce, Fabio Gonzales Silva and Patrick Norton, placed 10th and 22nd, respectively.

For full results, visit www.ibsf.org.

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