Canada’s Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski were just .04 away from winning their second-straight World Cup medal on Saturday in Igls, Austria.
The 2019 World Championship medallists fought for fourth place where they sat after clocking a two-run time of 1:47.60.
“I really think we executed both the drive and the push today,” said the 30-year-old de Bruin, who hails from Stony Plain, Alta.
Recognized as a starters track, the Canadians had little expectations heading into the two-run competition.
“We know that some girls are pushing start records, and with this being a starters track we didn’t really know how we would do,” added de Bruin. “We focused on what we could control and came out of it with fourth place, so we are happy.”
The 27-year-old Bujnowksi (Mount Brydges, Ont.) teamed up with de Bruin to post the sixth-fastest start time in each heat. The Canadians sat in fifth spot after their first trip down the 1,478 metre track. They nailed all 13 corners in the final heat to post the third fastest time and grab one more spot up the standings.
“Igls is a track that is easy to get down, but hard to be fast and I like that,” said de Bruin. “It is a test to try to find the hundredths in each corner, and that showed today because we did have the fastest velocities.”
Germany’s Mariama Jamanka and Annika Drazek won gold with a time of 1:47.34. Laura Nolte and Erline Nolte claimed silver. With the Canadians charging from behind, Kaillie Humphries and Sylvia Hoffmann of the United States, hung on for the bronze at 1:47.56.
Two other Canadian sleds made their World Cup debuts on Saturday in Austria. Toronto’s Cynthia Appiah and Edmonton’s Dawn Richardson Wilson snagged the final spot in the top-10 with two consistent runs and a time of 1:48.74. Melissa Lotholz (Barrhead, Alta.) and Calgary’s Janine McCue were 15th at 1:49.30.
Both Appiah and Lotholz, who represented Canada at the 2018 Olympics, moved into the pilot’s seat after pushing the nation’s top sleds to multiple World Cup and World Championship podiums on the track to the PyeongChang Games.
In the men’s two-man bobsleigh race, Canada’s Justin Kripps (Summerland, B.C.) and Ben Coakwell (Saskatoon) placed 12th at 1:45.17
Germany’s Friedrich Francesco and Margis Thorsten were first at 1:43.87. Brad Hall and Greg Cackett, of Great Britain, sild to the silver medal with a time of 1:44.61. Germany’s Richard Oelsner and Tobias Schneider punched the clock at 1:44.62 for the bronze.