BMW IBSF World Championships in Innsbruck: Third title for Francesco Friedrich
Innsbruck (RWH) World Championship hat-trick for bobsleigh pilot Francesco Friedrich from Germany: in a very close final, which saw Friedrich and his compatriot Johannes Lochner heading the field with the same time before the last of the four runs, Friedrich won through at the end and, pushed by Thorsten Margis, collected his third two-man bobsleigh World Championship title in succession. Junior World Champions Johannes Lochner and Joshua Bluhm were 0.17 seconds behind the winners of the BMW IBSF World Championships in Innsbruck (AUT) and received the silver medal as in the previous year. European Champion Beat Hefti of Switzerland won bronze with Alex Baumann, 0.22 seconds behind.
The British pairing of Bruce Tasker/Joel Fearon were fourth after the final run (0.42 seconds behind), Great Britain’s best World Championship result in the two-man event in 50 years: in 1966 Anthony Nash/Robin Dixon collected bronze at the World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy.
Oskars Melbardis/Daumants Dreiskens of Latvia, who tied with Lochner for silver last year, came fifth in Innsbruck.
Best ever World Championship results were recorded by the Canadian duos Chris Spring/Lascelles Brown in sixth and Justin Kripps/Alexander Kopacz in eighth.
The local pairing of Benjamin Maier/Markus Sammer (AUT) made it into the top ten with a ninth on home ice.
Complete results lists showing all race times and overall times can be found at ibfs.org, via Twitter (@IBSFsliding), on the official IBSF website, and on the IBSF Facebook group. ©RWH2015-2016
Francesco Friedrich (GER, 2013 and 2015 World Champion, 2015 European Champion)
“I only had three weeks after my injury to get back into form. This was the hardest and most tiring race so far after a season of ups and downs. A big thank you to everyone who made this possible.”
Johannes Lochner (GER, silver in 2015 World Championships, 2016 Junior World Champion)
“At the moment we’re just happy to have won silver. But we could have done better, we proved that in the first runs. Unfortunately we made the error in the final run when the sled swerved.”
Beat Hefti (SUI, silver at 2014 Olympics, silver at 2013 World Championships, European Champion in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016)
“The season hasn’t been easy for us. I’m happy that we managed to fight our way back to the top, with gold last week in the European Championships and now the World Championship medal.”
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Half time in 4-man bobsleigh with Walther, Kibermanis and Lochner taking top three spots
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Swiss skeleton athlete Marina Gilardoni on course for World Championship gold half-way through the action
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