Canada continued its successful weekend at the world bobsleigh championships after driver Lyndon Rush and brakeman Jesse Lumsden won a silver medal Sunday in Lake Placid, N.Y.
The podium finish comes one day after Calgary pilot Kaillie Humphries and partner Jennifer Ciochetti of Edmonton won gold in the women’s event.
The Canadians, who posted the fastest times in the first two runs on Saturday, were overtaken by Americans Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton in the third heat on Sunday before settling for silver.
Holcomb finished with a four-run time three-minutes, 42.88 seconds. Rush, a Humboldt, Sask., native who suffered through a stomach virus that sapped his strength, clocked at 3:43.34.
"Coming down the track was awful. I was gagging the whole way down. Thankfully the run is only a minute long," said Rush, who credits his brakeman’s athleticism for pushing the duo to the podium. "Jesse pushed the sled by himself today. I was basically a windsock. He was on his own."
Maximilian Arndt and Kevin Kuske of Germany took the bronze with a time of 3:43.43.
Despite the silver-medal performance, Rush wasn’t completely pleased with the way Sunday’s two heats unfolded at the challenging 1,455-metre Olympic track.
"I thought I would be happy, but I’m not even sure if I am right now," said Rush. "I just want to get back to my hotel and sleep." But Lumsden, an Edmonton native, gave Rush credit from battling through his illness.
"We came out guns blazing on Saturday and had to battle through some adversity [Saturday] night," added Lumsden. "Considering the condition Lyndon was in it was a courageous effort even for him to perform. We gave it everything we had and Team Rush are world championship medallists."
Rush, who became the first Canadian in 40 years to win an Olympic bronze medal in the four-man bobsleigh event at the 2010 Vancouver Games, teamed up with Lumsden this fall after the former CFL star running back decided to put his driving dream on hold.
"The goal was to work together to win a medal here for Canada," said Rush. "Jesse is an amazing athlete, and such an amazing character guy who always puts the team first. I’m very lucky to have him on the team."
Rookie pilot Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and Calgary brakeman Derek Plug led Canada 2 sled to a 17th-place finish (3:46.42). Kripps, who was a brakeman for Canadian legend Pierre Lueders at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, made his World Cup debut as a pilot three weeks ago in Whistler, B.C.