The seasonal leaders in the IBSF Bobsled World Cup confirmed their status as the best in the world with a German sweep of the Two-Men and Two-Woman events at the IBSF World Championships in Whistler (CAN).
Francesco Friedrich continued his mastery and his undefeated season with his fifth straight World Championships victory, tying him with the great Eugenio Monti (ITA) for the most consecutive Worlds wins; Monti won in 1957-61, and added two more – for the all-time record of seven wins – in 1963 and 1966.
Christoph Langen (GER) also won five titles, but not consecutively, in 1993-95-96-2000-01.
Friedrich’s chief competition was expected to be the co-Olympic champion from 2018, Canada’s Justin Kripps. And Kripps (with Cameron Stones) had the fastest time on the first run of 51.03, but Friedrich won the next three in 51.28, 51.21 and 51.02.
Kripps finished 0.59 seconds back in 3:25.13 and Germany’s Nico Walther was third in 3:25.43 (+0.89).
In the women’s competition, World Cup winner Mariama Jamanka (with Annika Drazek) had her sled in the lead and managed to survive a near-crash on their final run to finish with a combined, four-run time of 3:30.08, 1.06 seconds better than teammates Stephanie Schneider and Ann-Christin Strack.
Defending champ Elana Meyers Taylor of the U.S., with Lake Kwaza aboard, led after the first heat with a track record time of 52.48, but ended up the first day behind Jamanka by 0.13. In their third race, they crashed out of the dangerous “Corner 13,” finished 15th in that race and could not continue. Brittany Reinbolt (with Lauren Gibbs) finished fifth for the best U.S. placement.
Jamanka had ensured the victory with a track record run of 52.01 in the third race, and while this was Jamanka’s first world title, it was the second for Drazek, who was aboard with Anja Schneiderheinze in 2016.
The Worlds continue next week with the Four-Man racing and the Skeleton events. Summaries so far:
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 (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.
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.