ST. MORITZ, Sui.—Chris Spring celebrated his career-best World Championship result after teaming up with Lascelles Brown to finish sixth in men’s two-man action at the Bobsleigh World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Sunday.
Sitting in fifth spot after the opening two runs on the first day of competition, the two Calgarians blasted down the 1,700-metres of stunning natural ice to post a four-run time 4:24.33 in the Canada 2 Eurotech sled.
The 28-year-old Spring, who has one sixth-place two-man finish in his World Cup career, captured his first career medal earlier this season in four-man racing at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
The Canada 1 sled of Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., and Jesse Lumsden, of Burlington, Ont., bounced back after a tough opening run where they sat 10th. The Canadian duo slowly climbed their way back into eighth with a time of 4:24.43.
“First I am really happy for Spring and it was a really solid day for our men’s program with three sleds in the top-12,” said Rush. “But it just wasn’t a good week for me. I just struggled all week in training trying to get a handle on the track, and that carried over today.”
Germany’s Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker won the men’s two-man title with a time of 4:22.78. Switzerland’s Beat Hefti and Tomas Lamparter thrilled the hometown crowd after sliding to the silver medal with a time of 4:23.34. Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske locked up the bronze with a four-run time of 4:23.97.
Canada’s rookie pilot, Justin Kripps of Summerland, B.C. teamed up with Edmonton’s Neville Wright to post a solid result, finishing 12th at 4:25.62.
Following the two-man races, the top bobsleigh and skeleton athletes in the world hit the start line together for the unique team competition. The team event, which is not an Olympic discipline, combines one men’s and one women’s skeleton sled along with a women’s and men’s two-man bobsleigh.
The Canadian squad of Rush and Ottawa’s Cody Sorensen joined forces with World Champions, Kaillie Humphries and Chelsea Valois, along with skeleton athletes Eric Neilson, of Kelowna, B.C., and Calgary’s Sarah Reid to clock a third-place time of 4:32.30.
“The team event is always a lot of fun for all of us and I really enjoy it,” said Rush. “It was a tough week for me in the two-man, but a nice way to finish the day having some fun with the whole team.”
The United States won the team competitions with a time of 4:31.29. Germany claimed the silver at 4:31.53.
Canada also fielded a second team of Jon Montgomery, of Russell, Man., Edmonton’s Jenny Ciochetti and Emily Baadsvik, of St. Stephen, N.B., in the women’s bobsleigh, along with Mellisa Hollingsworth, of Eckville, Alta., and Justin Kripps and Luke Demetre, of New Glasgow, N.S. The Canada 2 squad clocked-in at 4:33.49 to finish sixth.
The World Championships continue on January 31 when the top skeleton athletes on the planet hit the start line at the birthplace of the sliding sports in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Dow Chemical, Adidas, KBC Helmets, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, Conceptum Sport Logistics, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.
Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results:
1. Friedrich/Baecker, GER, 4:22.78; 2. Hefti/Lamparter, SUI, 4:23.34; 3. Florschuetz/Kuske, GER, 4:23.97; 4. Holcomb/Langton, USA, 4:24.05; 5. Melbardis/Dreiskens, LAT, 4:25.25
Other Canadian Results:
6. Spring, Calgary/Brown, Calgary, CAN 2, 4:24.33; 8. Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Lumsden, Burlington, Ont., CAN 1, 4:24.43; 12. Kripps, Summerland, B.C./Wright, Edmonton, CAN 3, 4:25.62