From St. Moritz, SUI
(Jan. 15, 2021) – Germany’s Alexander Gassner has been close to the top of the podium so many times in his IBSF World Cup career. Coming into St. Moritz he had four top fives in his last six races, and five medals over the course of his World Cup career.
Going into the second heat it looked like he would one again find himself on the outside looking in, .2 behind World Cup leader and eight-time winner in St. Moritz Martins Dukurs. But as they say, that’s why they run the races.
On the second run Gassner put down the fastest time of the second heat, well ahead of anyone else. Dukurs’ second run, while clean, couldn’t match the pace set by Gassner and when the Latvian crossed the finish line he found himself .01 behind Gassner in second.
Gassner’s win was his first individual gold at any level since the 2015/2016 season, when he won Intercontinental Cup gold in Lake Placid.
The silver medal for Dukurs was the 19th silver medal of his career.
Olympic champion Sungbin Yun made his return to World Cup action and found himself tied for fifth with Evgeniy Rukosuev after the first heat. Yun set the fast start time of the race in the second heat and threw down a quick run to jump into the medals with a bronze effort in third.
Russia’s Evgeniy Rukosuev finished a career-best fourth, just .02 ahead of Tomass Dukurs in fifth. World Champion Christopher Grotheer finished sixth, falling from fourth in the first heat.
For the first time in recent memory the race in St. Moritz was run in a steady snowfall. Fortunately for the athletes the snowfall was relatively consistent over the course of the first heat. On the second heat the snow picked up, leading to an unscheduled track hold to remove snow out of the track after eight sleds.
The North Americans made their second start of the season on the IBSF World Cup. Austin Florian led the way for the United States with a strong finish of tenth place. Teammate Austin McCrary finished 26th in his first World Cup start in St. Moritz.
Canada’s Kevin Boyer was the first off the top in both heats on his way to a 18th place finish, up from 20th in the first heat and tied with Italy’s Amedeo Bagnis. Teammate Mark Lynch finished 24th in his second World Cup start.
Marcus Wyatt was the top finisher of the three British sliders with an eighth place finish, up from tenth in the first heat. Craig Thompson finished 14th in his first World Cup race in St. Moritz, while Laurence Bostock just missed the second heat in 21st.
Reigning North American Cup champion Ander Mirambell moved up from 18th in the first heat to finish 15th, his best World Cup finish since a 14th place finish in St. Moritz during the 2016/2017 season.
|Pos||Name||Nation||Bib||Start 1||Start 2||Run 1||Run 2||Total|
|16||Jean Jacques Buff||SUI||27||5.27||5.26||69.22||69.82||2:19.04|