BOBSLED & SKELETON: Friedrich completes historic Worlds sweep with Four-Man title

Francesco Friedrich's crew celebrates a Four-Man world title in Whistler (Photo: IBSF)

Germany’s Francesco Friedrich made more history with a sensational double in the four-man sled to cap the final week of the IBSF World Championships in Whistler, British Columbia (CAN) last Friday.

Friedrich’s first run placed his team third, 0.11 seconds behind Latvia’s Oskars Kibermanis, but he was never headed from them on. Fredrich’s team had the fastest times on runs two, three and four and ended up with a 0.29-second margin in Kibermanis to complete a double-double of World Championship golds in the two- and four-man sleds.

How impressive was this? Friedrich won his fifth straight two-man title in Whistler to tie the record for consecutive wins with the legendary Eugenio Monti (ITA). With his double-double, he matched Monti’s feat in 1960 and 1961 – 58 years ago – and no one has done it since.

At just 28, Friedrich could put all of the records out of sight completely; consider that Monti won double gold at age 40 in the Grenoble Winter Games of 1968!

The Skeleton events were also held last week, with Martins Dukurs (LAT) winning his sixth World Championships gold, although he had only one win during the World Cup season. The silver went to Russian Nikita Tregubov, who had been fourth during the World Cup. With six titles, Dukurs continues to extend his status as the greatest Skeleton racer ever; no one else has won more than three World Championships.

The women’s Skeleton was a German sweep by Tina Hermann, Jacquline Loelling and Sophia Griebel, the first time one country has swept the Skeleton medals in a single women’s Worlds; it’s been done once in the men’s Worlds (Austria in 1991). By winning, Hermann ties the women’s record for the most world titles with four, also by Marion Thees (GER) from 2009-13. Summaries:

IBSF World Championships
Whistler (CAN) ~ 1-9 March 2019
(Full results here)

Two-Man: 1. Francesco Friedrich/Thorsten Margis (GER), 3:24.54; 2. Justin Kripps/Cameron Stones (CAN), 3:25.13; 3. Nico Walther/Paul Krenz (GER), 3:25.43; 4. Chris Spring/Neville Wright (CAN), 3:25.68; 5. Brad Hall/Nick Gleeson (GBR), 3:25.68; 6. Oskars Kibermanis (LAT), 3:25.78; 7. Yunjong Won/Youngwoo Seo (KOR), 3:25.81; 8. Johannes Lochner/Christopher Weber (GER), 3:26.05. Also: 16. Codie Bascue/Joshua Williamson (USA), 3:27.39; … 19. Hunter Church/Chris Kinney (USA), 3:28.18.

Four-Man: 1. Germany (Francesco Friedrich), 3:21.33; 2. Latvia (Oskars Kibermanis), 3:21.62; 3. Canada (Justin Kripps), 3:21.78; 4. Russia (Maxim Andrianov ), 3:22.09; 5. Switzerland (Michael Vogt), 3:22.27; 6. Austria (Benjamin Maier), 3:22.32; 7. Korea (Yunjong Won), 3:22.79; 8. Germany (Nico Walther), 3:22.88. Also: 11. United States (Codie Bascue, James Reed, Chris Kinney, Joshua Williamson), 3:23.44; … 16. United States (Hunter Church, Kyle Wilcox, Blaine McConnell, Kyle Allison), 3:24.07.

Two-Woman: 1. Mariama Jamanka/Annika Drazek (GER), 3:30.08; 2. Stephanie Schneider/Ann-Christin Strack (GER), 3:31.14; 3. Christine de Bruin/Kristen Bujnowski (CAN), 3:31.25; 4. Katrin Beierl/Jennifer Onasanya (AUT), 3:31.46; 5. Brittany Reinbolt/Lauren Gibbs (USA), 3:31.65; 6. Nadezhda Sergeeva/Yulia Belomestnykh (RUS), 3:32.11; 7. Anna Koehler/Leonie Fiebig (GER), 3:32.41; 8. An Vannieuwenhuyse/Sara Aerts (BEL), 3:32.58. Also: 9. Nicole Vogt/Nicole Brungardt (USA), 3:32.87.

Team Event: 1. Germany (Grotheer, Koehler/Gericke, Griebel/Rademacher), 3:31.85; 2. Canada (Greszczyszyn, De Bruin/Bujnowski, Rahneva, Poloniato/Joyce), 3:32.00; 3. United States (Greg West, Brittany Reinbolt/Jessica Davis, Savannah Graybill, Geoff Gadbois/Kris Horn), 3:32.49. Also: 4. United States (Austin Florian, Nicole Vogt/Sylvia Hoffman, Kendall Wesenberg, Hunter Church/Blaine McConnell) 3:32.88.

Men’s Skeleton: 1. Martins Dukurs (LAT), 3:28.11; 2. Nikita Tregubov (RUS), 3:28.62; 3. Sung-Bin Yun (KOR), 3:28.99; 4. Christopher Grotheer (GER), 3:29.09; 5. Tomass Dukurs (LAT), 3:29.11; 6. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS), 3:29.24; 7. Alexander Gassner (GER), 3:30.19; 8. Austin Florian (USA), 3:30.22. Also: 16. Greg West (USA), 3:31.36; … 19. Kyle Brown (USA), 3:31.76.

Women’s Skeleton: 1. Tina Hermann (GER), 3:33.03; 2. Jacqueline Loelling (GER), 3:33.41; 3. Sophia Griebel (GER), 3:34.20; 4. Anna Fernstaedtova (CZE), 3:34.80; 5. Elena Nikitina (RUS), 3:35.06; 6. Marina Gilardoni (SUI), 3:35.38; 7. Yulia Kanakina (RUS), 3:35.40; 8. Savannah Graybill (USA), 3:35.63. Also: 11. Kendall Wesenberg (USA), 3:36.12; … 18. Megan Henry (USA), 3:37.93.