Francesco Friedrich of Germany became the youngest ever two-man bobsled world champion on Sunday, and defending champion Steven Holcomb of the United States dropped out of the medal places.

At 22 years, 270 days, Friedrich took a record set in 1935 by Swiss driver Reto Capadrutt, according to bobsled's world governing body.

Friedrich and brakeman Jannis Baecker were 0.56 seconds faster than silver medallists Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter of Switzerland. Friedrich drove to a combined four-run time of four minutes, 22.78 seconds on the Olympia track.

"When I jumped into the sled in the third run and saw how smoothly we were running, I knew that nothing could go wrong," said Friedrich, who is the first man to win senior and junior world titles in the same season.

Hefti and Lamparter, who won the European title last week, finished clear of German bronze medallists Thomas Florschuetz and Andreas Bredau, who trailed Friedrich by 1.19.

Holcomb and Steven Langton finished fourth, 0.08 off the podium, after being third in the opening two runs on Saturday.

Canada's Chris Spring and Lascelles Brown finished sixth, while Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden were eighth.

Friedrich was fastest in three of the four runs, with World Cup standings leader Lyndon Rush of Canada quickest in the third run which opened Sunday's competition. Still, Rush only moved up to finish eighth from 10th place overnight.

The team competition was scheduled later Sunday.