Kripps, Whitby’s Stones and crew in bronze medal position after two runs in 4-Man Bobsleigh

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Published February 18, 2022 at 11:59 pm

Redemption? That will have to wait until tomorrow, but Justin Kripps and his Canadian 4-man Bobsleigh crew are at least halfway there after sliding into the bronze medal position after the first two heats of the competition Friday night.

Kripps and Whitby’s Cam Stones were medal favourites in the 2-Man event but had to settle for tenth after failing to conquer the Yanquing National Sliding Centre and its ‘dragon’s tail’ S-bend in turns 12 & 13.

Friday night, with Ryan Sommer and Ben Coakwell along for the ride, Kripps was able to slay the dragon, piloting his sled to the third-best performance after the first heat. He lost a bit of time on the second heat but hung on to the third position, just 17-hundredths of a second ahead of Christopher Hafer and the Germany #3 sled and 18-hundredths of a second up on Oskars Kibermans and his crew from Latvia, setting up a great night of sledding Saturday night.

To no one’s surprise, Germany’s Francesco Friedrich – who is looking to sweep gold medals in the 2- and 4-man events for the second consecutive Olympics – sits in first heading to the final heats, but it was fellow German Johannes Lochner – the silver medalist in the 2-man – who had the fastest first run.

But Friedrich posted the fastest time in the second run to take his customary number one position headed to the final two runs Saturday.

Canada’s other crews will have to have to have the races of their lives to get close to a medal after finishing the first day’s runs well off the pace. Chris Spring (with Mike Evelyn, Sam Giguere and Cody Sorensen) and Taylor Austin (Daniel Sunderland, Jay Dearborn and Chris Patrician) finished the first two runs in 11th and 21st position, respectively.

The Jamaican crew, competing for the first time since 1998, are in 28th place, 5.19 seconds behind the leaders.

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