• May 5, 2021

Kripps, Stones earn back-to-back bobsleigh bronze, leading Canadian 4-man crew

Canada’s Justin Kripps and Cam Stones picked up their second bronze medals at the World Cup stop in St. Moritz, while German sleds swept the gold medals in Sunday’s races.

Francesco Friedrich earned gold in the four-man race, extending his World Cup record with a 48th career triumph. He prevailed by about three-tenths of a second over the Austrian sled driven by Benjamin Meier in Switzerland.

Kripps, from Summerland, B.C., teamed with Stones of Whitby, Ont., Ryan Sommer of White Rock, B.C., and Saskatoon’s Ben Coakwell to finish about a half-second off the pace. Kripps and Stones also picked up bronze in Saturday’s two-man race.

“It was awesome for us to get a double podium here in St. Moritz,” Kripps said. “We sure missed the crowds and the champagne this year but we’re loving building this momentum together.

“Everything is crisp with the team on and off the ice, and that is a big part of our success. The devil is in the details. We’ve talked as a team about being the best in the world at each of our individual jobs, and I believe that is what is happening.”

The Canadians became the third sled ever to medal in both the two- and 4-man World Cup events on the same weekend in St.Moritz, according to Bobsled Canada Skeleton.

Canada’s other sled, piloted by Calgary’s Chris Spring, finished 11th.

Codie Bascue had the top U.S. finish, placing 15th with Carlo Valdes, Blaine McConnell and Kyle Wilcox.

In the women’s race, Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig held off the U.S. sled of Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman by 0.08 seconds. It was Meyers Taylor’s first World Cup medal since Feb. 23, 2019 — she missed last campaign for the birth of her son — and the fifth consecutive time she has medaled in St. Moritz.

Switzerland’s Melanie Hasler and Irina Strebel were third, the first top-three World Cup finish of their careers. Christine De Bruin of Stony Plain, Alta., and Sara Villani of Norval, Ont., were eighth, and the Edmonton tandem of Alysia Rissling and Dawn Richardson Wilson were 11th.

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The World Cup circuit now travels to Königssee, Germany.

Steve Carr

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