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Photo: Viesturs Lacis
Nico Walther wins bronze at the BMW IBSF World Championships in Königssee

Königssee (RWH): Historic race for the 4-man bobsleigh at the 2017 BMW IBSF World Championships: for the first time in the history of the World Championships since 1930 there are two winners instead of one. Following four runs on the artificial track in Königssee (GER), the bobsleigh pilots Francesco Friedrich and Johannes Lochner of Germany ended up with exactly the same time, right down to the nearest hundredth of a second. Francesco Friedrich/Candy Bauer/Martin Grothkopp/Thorsten Margis and Johannes Lochner/Matthias Kagerhuber/Joshua Bluhm/Christian Rasp took a total of 3:14.10 minutes to cover the five kilometres on the World Championship track. The third German team, made up of pilot Nico Walther and Kevin Kuske, Kevin Korona and Eric Franke finished 0.16 seconds behind to win bronze.

The twenty 4-man bobsleigh crews representing ten different countries gave bobsleigh fans at the track in Königssee a real heart-stopping final race: Francesco Friedrich started the deciding fourth run with the smallest possible lead of just 0.01 seconds over his team mate Johannes Lochner. The gap between Nico Walther and Steven Holcomb (USA), who were in third and fourth place at that point, was also just one hundredths of a second.

Defending title holder Oskars Melbardis of Latvia, who won gold at the 2016 World Championships, dropped from third to fifth place during the third run and was unable to climb back up to the top three despite recording the best run time in the finale. He ended up in fourth place (0.29 seconds behind). RWH2017

Quotes

Johannes Lochner (GER, 2017 European Champion, 2016 Junior World Champion)
“That was incredibly nerve-racking. From the second run onwards, it just went back and forth by a hundredth of a second. An awesome competition.”

Francesco Friedrich (GER, runner-up in the 2016 World Championships, European Championship bronze medallist in 2017)
“What a race. A finish like that is just unbelievable! The exit out of S4 – that’s where the hundredth came from. However, I don’t really want to introduce thousandths of a second in our sport.”

Nico Walther (GER, runner-up in the 2015 World Championships, second in the 2017 European Championships)
“I’m pleased with the bronze. It went well on the second day. That was our primary goals, we wanted to show what we were capable of. Nevertheless, we were twice quicker than the World Champions today!”

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