Justin Kripps and Jesse Lumsden reunited in the Canadian two-man bobsleigh where they won a silver medal at the World Cup in Igls, Austria on Saturday.
Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and Lumsden, of Brampton, Ont., posted the second-fastest start and run times in both heats to snag the silver medal with a combined time of 1:43.98 on the 14-corner track.
“We had a great day out there. I got the equipment I needed this year so that, combined with great pushes from my teammates, has been what we needed to get on the podium and be in the hunt every race,” said Kripps, who is the overall World Cup leader in the two-man field.
“Normally, I’m not a big fan of the Igls track. It’s mostly about the push and the equipment here, but now that we have those two pieces working well for us, it paid off here.”
It was the third silver medal in the two-man this season for the 30-year-old Kripps. His previous two came in Lake Placid and Whistler with Alex Kopacz.
Lumsden, who pushed both Kripps and Chris Spring at the season-opener, took advantage of his shot to get back on the start line in two-man racing.
“I didn’t push well in Lake Placid so it was great to have another shot. It is always great to race with Justin in the two-man. We have a long history together in this sport,” said Lumsden, who now has nine career World Cup medals, and two World Championship silvers in two-man racing.
It was the first time Lumsden was back in the two-man sled with Kripps since Lake Placid. The Canadian duo also won the silver together at last year’s World Championships.
“Getting on the podium here in Igls gets me more excited to get in the four-man sled tomorrow, with Seyi (Smith) and Alex (Kopacz), and drop some fast push times for Kripps.”
Germany’s Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis topped the Canucks with a time of 1:43.71. Switzerland’s Clemens Bracher and Michael Kuonen were awarded the bronze medal following a disqualification to Canada’s Nick Poloniato (Hamilton) and Lascelles Brown (Calgary).
Poloniato had celebrated what he thought was his first career World Cup podium, but was later disqualified during sled inspection when it was deemed the opening between the sides of the sled above the rear axle was four millimeters too narrow. Sleds have to be at minimum 450 millimeters. The Canadian sled measured 446.
“We are extremely disappointed with the decision by the jury and feel the disqualification penalty does not fit the offence,” said Chris Le Bihan, high performance director, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “This infraction has no effect on the results of the competition because it provides no competitive advantage, nor is this a safety issue. The IBSF could have exercised a range of options as a cautionary reminder, including a warning and/or a fine. “It is an unfortunate situation for a young athlete to have his first medal pulled from him in this way, but on a positive note, all three Canadian men’s teams are flying and I know Nick and Lascelles will be back on the podium.”
Calgary’s Chris Spring and Edmonton’s Neville Wright were also lightening-quick on Saturday. Sitting in third spot after their first blast down the 1,478-metre track, but dropped off the podium into sixth after the final run. Team Spring, who has a gold and silver medal in two-man racing already this year, clocked-in at 1:44.19.
Meanwhile, Kaillie Humphries had a new face on her brakes, welcoming Toronto’s Phylicia George onto the World Cup start line for the first time in her career.
Posting the third-fastest start times, Calgary’s Humphries maintained her overall lead on the World Cup circuit after sliding to her second fourth-place finish in Europe. Sitting in third spot after the first run, Humphries and George were edged off the podium fourth place with a time of 1:46.89.
“I’m very proud of Phylicia in her first World Cup race. We were the third-fastest team at the top with room for us to improve. I’m excited to see where we can go from here,” said Humphries. “It’s not the end result we hoped for, but will keep working until it’s there.”
Germany’s Stephanie Scheider and Annika Drazek won the women’s race with a time of 1:46.28. Americans Elana Meyers Taylor and Kehri Jones were second at 1:46.64, while Germany’s Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz edged out the Canadians for third with a time of 1:46.65.
Edmonton’s Alysia Rissling and Heather Moyse, of Summerside, P.E.I., continued to edge their way up the standings in just their second World Cup race together. Rissling piloted the second Canadian sled to seventh place at 1:46.42.
Christine de Bruin, of Stony Plain, Alta., and Kristen Bujnowski, of Mount Brydges, Ont., placed ninth at 1:47.59.
The World Cup wraps up on Sunday in Igls, Austria with the four-man races.