Germany's Friedrich wins 3rd straight 2-man bob world title
Canadian duos finish 6th, 8th
Francesco Friedrich edged fellow German Johannes Lochner to win his third straight two-man bob world title on Sunday in Igls, Austria.
Friedrich and brakeman Thorsten Margis shared the lead with Lochner and Joshua Bluhm after three heats before Friedrich won the final run to earn the victory by 0.17. He also won gold in 2013 and 2015, while junior world champion Lochner came runner-up for a second straight year.
"This was the most exhausting race of our careers," said Friedrich, who recovered from straining a thigh muscle three weeks ago. "Many thanks to my physicians. We wouldn't have been here without them."
Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann of Switzerland, who won the European title last week, finished third, 0.22 off the lead.
Canada's Chris Spring and Lascelles Brown were sixth, while compatriots Justin Kripps and Alex Kopacz finished eighth.
"We pushed as hard as we could. I literally drove as I best I could, but unfortunately it wasn't enough," said Spring. "I think overall I was happy with the way we performed but just disappointed that given our best it wasn't enough to win a medal."
It's the second gold medal from as many competitions for Germany after Anja Schneiderheinze and brakewoman Annika Drazek won the women's event Saturday.
Later Sunday, Lochner and brakeman Tino Paasche helped Germany win the team competition for the sixth time by posting the fastest time in the concluding two-man bob heat, after his team already led following the men's skeleton, women's bobsled and women's skeleton runs.
The German team, which included Axel Jungk, Anja Schneiderheinze and brakewomen Franziska Bertels, and Tina Hermann, finished in 3 minutes, 31.47 seconds to beat Russia by 0.65. Hosts Austria came 1.46 back in third for their first ever team medal.
The world championships continue with the first two heats of the men's skeleton competition on Thursday.
With files from CBC Sports and Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton