Friedrich Wins Second Straight 4-man World Championship

From Whistler, CAN

(Mar. 9, 2019) – The 2018/2019 2-man and 4-man bobsled season was dominated by one pilot: Francesco Friedrich. Coming into the 2019 World Championships, Friedrich had swept the 2-man season and won five of eight races in the 4-man season. So it seemed only fitting that Friedrich would come from behind after two heats to win the final race of the year and sweep the World Championship gold medals between the two disciplines.

Bobteam Friedrich celebrates a gold medal (Courtesy IBSF TV)

Friedrich trailed Latvian Oskars Kibermanis by just .04 going into the third heat. On that third run both pilots had clean runs, but Friedrich was able to find a bit more speed at the bottom of the 2010 Olympic track. On the fourth run it was more of the same. Despite Kibermanis’s team tying their start record (4.69) that they’d set in the second heat of the race, they weren’t able to match the speed of the Olympic gold medalist, and when all was said and done it was a .29 second victory for Friedrich over Kibermanis.

For Friedrich, the gold medal was his third straight in four heat events and his second straight World Championship. For Kibermanis, the silver medal was the best 4-man finish for Kibermanis in a four heat event and is sixth 4-man silver medal of the 2018/2019 season.

Coming into the 2018/2019 season Justin Kripps had sometimes struggled with the 4-man sled. This season was different, with Kripps winning four gold medals between the North American Cup, European Cup, and World Cup. He entered the third heat .11 out of gold, and while he couldn’t keep pace with Friedrich, he scored his first career World Championship 4-man medal with a bronze.

Finishing fourth was Russia’s Maxim Andrianov, who was looking to be the first Russian to win a World Championship 4-man medal since 2013. Behind him, Michael Vogt moved up from sixth to fifth on the final run, leapfrogging Benjamin Maier, who finished sixth.

Codie Bascue led the way for the United States with a 11th place finish in the final race of the year. Bascue’s season had been hampered by a hamstring injury. Teammate Hunter Church finished 16th in his first career World Championship.

Canada’s Chris Spring spent the entire 4-man event hovering around the top ten, getting as high up as ninth. On his fourth run he fell one spot to tenth, but still had a pair of top tens in the World Championships. Teammate Nick Poloniato never could find the speed he needed and finished 22nd.

Great Britain scored a top five in the 2-man event with a fourth place by Brad Hall. They couldn’t repeat that magic in the 4-man event, with Hall finishing 13th. North American Cup runner-up Lamin Deen finished two spots back in 15th.

Results:

Pos Names Nation Bib Run 1 Run 2 Run 3 Run 4 Total
1 Friedrich / Bauer / Grothkopp / Margis GER 4 50.16 50.57 50.14 50.46 3:21.33
2 Kibermanis / Miknis / Vilkaste / Strenga LAT 5 50.05 50.64 50.28 50.65 3:21.62
3 Kripps / Sommer / Stones / Coakwell CAN 9 50.13 50.67 50.32 50.66 3:21.78
4 Andrianov / Zaytsev / Kondratenko / Samitov RUS 8 50.17 50.82 50.42 50.68 3:22.09
5 Vogt / Knuser / Friedli / Michel SUI 2 50.31 50.76 50.46 50.74 3:22.27
6 Maier / Walch / Sammer / Maldovan AUT 3 50.20 50.75 50.57 50.80 3:22.32
7 Won / Kim / Lee / Oh KOR 10 50.52 50.89 50.70 50.68 3:22.79
8 Walther / Krenz / Rödiger / Franke GER 7 50.44 50.86 50.73 50.85 3:22.88
9 Lochner / Bauer / Weber / Rasp GER 6 50.71 50.84 50.78 50.70 3:23.03
10 Spring / Auclair / Janke / Wright CAN 15 50.63 51.00 50.67 51.03 3:23.33
11 Bascue / Williamson / Reed / Kinney USA 20 50.73 50.86 50.80 51.05 3:23.44
12 Bredikhin / Lylov / Malykh / Koshelev RUS 12 50.65 51.03 50.88 50.89 3:23.45
13 Hall / Gleeson / Fearon / Simons GBR 16 50.64 51.03 50.98 51.01 3:23.66
14 Shao / Liu / Shi / Ma CHN 22 50.88 50.97 50.97 51.15 3:23.97
15 Deen / Letts / Gilling / Olubi GBR 18 50.91 50.97 51.01 51.16 3:24.05
16 Chuch / Allison / McConnell / Wilcox USA 14 50.91 51.10 50.93 51.13 3:24.07
17 Suk / Kim / Kim / Bae KOR 21 51.27 51.13 51.12 51.16 3:24.68
18 Baumgartner / Ughi / Variola / Atchori Essoh ITA 17 51.21 51.27 51.07 51.16 3:24.71
19 Meyerhans / Moulinier / Beieri / Kuonen SUI 23 51.15 51.43 51.10 51.14 3:24.82
20 Sun / Wang / Wu / Wu CHN 1 50.87 51.57 51.27 51.52 3:25.23
21 Dvorak / Suchy / Sindelar / Nosek CZE 11 50.56 52.29 50.99 2:33.84
22 Poloniato / Goncalves Silva / Norton / Joyce CAN 19 51.32 51.71 51.20 2:34.23
DNS de Bruin / Dumas / Veenker / Franjic NED 13 61.09 DNS