Photo: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis
Oskars Kibermanis secures silver with starting and track record, Kripps takes bronze

Whistler (RWH) Olympic Champion Francesco Friedrich of Germany has defended his world title in 4-man bobsleigh. His third run at the BMW IBSF World Championships in Whistler (CAN) saw him, along with teammates Candy Bauer, Martin Grothkopp and Thorsten Margis, take the lead over Oskars Kibermanis (LAT). The World Cup overall winner also kept a firm grip on the lead in the fourth and final race, giving him a final 0.29 second lead over the Latvian, whose silver medal heralded his first at a World Championships. Alongside Matiss Miknis, Arvis Vilkaste and Janis Strenga, the overall runner-up in the World Cup set both a record start time (4.69 seconds) and a track record (50.05 seconds).

Local hero Justin Kripps, with Ryan Sommer, Cameron Stones and Ben Coakwell (CAN, 0.45 seconds behind) celebrated taking bronze in front of his home crowd in Canada.

Russia's Maxim Andrianov, together with Aleksey Zaytsev, Vasiliy Kondratenko and Ruslan Samitov finished in fourth place in Whistler, ahead of Michael Vogt and his team, Alain Knuser, Simon Friedli and Sandro Michel (SUI). The Swiss pilot is the youngest in the 4-man bobsleigh field.

A sixth place finish for Benjamin Maier, Kilian Walch, Markus Sammer and Danut Moldovan (AUT) completed a top six from six different nations.

Having taken joint Olympic silver at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, the teams headed up by Nico Walther (GER) and Yunjong Won (KOR) eventually came in seventh and eighth.

European Champion Johannes Lochner (GER), who had tied with Francesco Friedrich for first place at the 2017 World Championships in 4-man bobsleigh, finished the 2019 BMW IBSF World Championships in ninth place.

Further information including the World Championships results are available at ©RWH2019

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