Half-time lead: friedrich ahead of fifth wm win in series

half-time lead: friedrich ahead of fifth wm win in series

Now the ancient record is within reach. Olympic double champion francesco friedrich and pusher thorsten margis on course for gold at half-time of the two-man bobsleigh world championships in whistler.

Before the two final runs on saturday evening (local time), the saxon has a 0.12 second lead over justin kripps from canada, who is the same time as the olympic champion in pyeongchang. With his fifth world championship victory in a row, friedrich set the all-time record of eugenio monti. The italian won five two-man bobsleigh world championship titles in a row from 1957 to 1961. And friedrich could then overtake monti at the world championships 2020 in altenberg – on his home track. “That is my rough target”, he said.

His club colleague nico walther is also on the medal course with paul krenz in third place. Johannes lochner takes eighth place with christopher weber on the brakes, but has no more medal chances.

World cup overall winner friedrich started with bib number four as the first of the favorites. With 4.74 seconds, the german duo also set the fastest start time on the extremely fast ice and pulverized the three-year-old track record of russia’s alexander kasjanov with 51.03 seconds. But kripps, who like 15 other two-man bobsleighs had crashed on his home track in the first practice session, drove an even better line in the lower part of the high-speed track and also had the higher top speed of 153.09 kilometers per hour – and thus seven hundredths ahead of friedrich.

“It already started at the top, we don’t take our usual speed with us to the track. Then the mistakes come at the bottom, curve eleven I am too late, then there is a stroke in the twelfth and so the mistakes also add up in hundredths. Such a messed up run simply angers me,” said friedrich. Margis admitted after the run-up directly in front of the famous “fifty-fifty” bend: “I was scared, it can be really dangerous there.”

Things went much better in the second run. Friedrich rode a solid, almost faultless line and thus took the lead: “we can go into the night relaxed and attack again tomorrow.Even kripps paid tribute to his opponents after the change in the lead: “it’s no disgrace to lose to friedrich”.”

Walther, who had led at half-time at the olympics and finished fourth, was also relieved. “If after six weeks of injury you are now in third place in the two-man bobsleigh, where (it depends on) the push performance of the pilot, then you can be very satisfied,” he said, stressing that “we know from bitter experience that after the first day the race is not yet over.”


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