(ISN) – SOCHI, Rus.—A crash in the four-man was not how Canadian Justin Kripps planned to end his Olympic experience in Sochi. One year later, Summerland, B.C.’s Kripps and his crew of Timothy Randall (Burlington, Ont.), Bryan Barnett (Edmonton) and Ben Coakwell (Saskatoon) posted a season-best fourth-place finish on the Sochi track.
Team Kripps led the Canadian performance, with a total time of one minute, 50.85 seconds, less than a second off the pace, and 0.18 seconds off the podium.
“I’ve got a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Sochi track; I really enjoy sliding here, and it’s a challenge to be fast,” said Kripps. “I took a few risks this week like I did at the Olympics, but this time, I got away with it. We’re very happy with how the weekend went. We have been stepping it up at the start, and to me, that’s the big difference.”
Calgary’s Chris Spring piloted his sled pushed by Derek Plug (Calgary), Alex Kopacz (London, Ont.), and Josh Kirkpatrick (Calgary) to 10th place with a time of 1:51.59.
Meanwhile, Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries and her team of DJ McClelland (Calgary), Dan Dale (Edmonton), and Nick Poloniato (Hamilton, Ont.) slid to 14th place with a time of 1:52.46 on the 1,500-metre track.
Latvia’s Oskars Melbardis, Daumants Dreiskens, Arvis Vilkaste and Janis Strenga won the men’s four-man race with a time of 1:50.03. Alexander Kasjanov, Ilvir Huzin, Aleksei Pushkarev, and Aleksey Zaytsev of Russia finished second in 1:50.05. Germany’s Maximillian Arndt, Alexander Roediger, Kevin Korona, and Martin Putze laid down a two-run total of 1:50.67 to take third.
The men’s skeleton athletes wrapped up the World Cup stop in Sochi. Canada’s Dave Greszczyszyn, of Brampton, Ont., had one of the best results of his career sliding into seventh spot at 1:54.52.
Two Calgarians also hit the start line. Barrett Martineau placed 17th at 1:55.65, while Evan Neufeldt was 19th (1:56.16).
Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov won the race with a time of 1:52.40. Latvia’s Martins Dukurs was second at 1:52.81, while Korea’s Sungin Yun slid to the bronze with a time of 1:53.68.
Up next on the calendar are the World Championships, being hosted in Winterberg, Germany.