Justin Kripps second overall in BMW IBSF World Cup ahead of Rostislav Gaitiukevich
St. Moritz (RWH) Bobsleigh pilot Oskars Kibermanis of Latvia finished the final 4-man bobsleigh race for the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup with his first victory in five years and his first European Championship title in the big sled. The World Cup final also counted as a continental championship for the teams from Europe. At the Olympia Bobrun St. Moritz-Celerina (SUI), pilot Kibermanis and Davis Springis, Matiss Miknis and Edgars Nemme as the pusher crew celebrated the first European Championship title for Latvia in 4-man bobsleigh since 2015, when pilot Oskars Melbardis had won European Championship gold.
First to congratulate the new European Champions at the finish: Defending champion and overall World Cup winner Francesco Friedrich (GER), who came second in the World Cup in St. Moritz with Martin Grothkopp, Alexander Rödiger and Alexander Schueller and won European Championship silver. In the second race run the Friedrich crew had set a season's track record with 1:04.66 seconds, in the end the gap to the Latvians was 0.16 seconds. For push athlete Alexander Rödiger, the 2013 and 2015 World Champion, the World Cup final in St. Moritz was the last of his career: After a tendon injury in his arm at the beginning of the season, Rödiger had already announced the end of his athletic career.
Third at the World Cup and European Championships in St. Moritz was Rostislav Gaitiukevich (RUS, 0.28 seconds back) with Mikhail Mordasov, Pavel Travkin and Alexei Laptev. For the Russian it is the second European bronze medal in a row.
The victory in the overall ranking of the BMW IBSF World Cup 2021/2022 had already been secured by Francesco Friedrich (GER, 1785 points) at the penultimate race of the season. The Olympic Champion is thus the overall 4-man bobsleigh winner for the fourth time in a row. Justin Kripps (CAN, 1530) finished the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup as the overall runner-up, coming fifth in St. Moritz with Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Jay Dearborn. The crystal globe trophy for third place in the overall World Cup went to Rostislav Gaitiukevich (RUS, 1480). Friedrich, Kripps and Gaitiukevich also took first to third place in the BMW IBSF World Cup combined classification of 2-man and 4-man bobsleigh.
Photos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis