Brad Hall second in 2-man bobsleigh ahead of Benjamin Maier
Sigulda (RWH) Bobsleigh pilot Rostislav Gaitiukevich from Russia celebrated his first victory in the race series at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Sigulda (LAT). On New Year's Day 2022, the Junior European Champion of 2020 won the first 2-man bobsleigh race in the Olympic year with push athlete Mikhail Mordasov. Gaitiukevich /Mordasov, second after the first race run, set the best time in the second run and relegated the British 2-man bobsleigh duo Brad Hall/Greg Cackett (0.10 seconds back) to second place.
With their victory, Gaitiukevich/Mordasov wrote a small piece of sporting history: the last Russian 2-man bobsleigh winner in the World Cup was Alexander Zubkov in Winterberg (GER) in January 2011.
Third place at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Sigulda went to the Austrians Benjamin Maier/Markus Sammer (0.17 seconds behind). For Maier, it was the first podium finish in the 2-man bobsleigh in the 2021/2022 Olympic winter.
So for the first time since December 2020, the 2-man bobsleigh winner in the BMW IBSF World Cup is not Francesco Friedrich. After a year without defeats in 2021, the Olympic, World and defending World Cup Champion with push athlete Alexander Schueller found himself in an unfamiliar seventh place after the first race run in Sigulda after the Friedrich sled had broken away at the end of the start groove and touched the rail. After a similar mishap in the second run, Friedrich/Margis ultimately finished twelfth. The last time Friedrich was not on the 2-man bobsleigh podium was in Whistler (CAN) in November 2017, when he also finished twelfth.
Francesco Friedrich (GER, 1028 points) defended his lead in the overall standings of the BMW IBSF World Cup 2021/2022. Rostislav Gaitiukevich (RUS, 969) is currently second overall after five of the eight season races ahead of Canada's Justin Kripps (960), who finished fourth in Sigulda.
Photos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis