Justin Kripps pilots Canada's 4-man bobsleigh team to World Cup bronze

It was a podium finish for pilot Justin Kripps and brakemen Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones, and Ben Coakwell on Saturday in Winterberg, Germany. The 4-man bobsleigh team picked up a bronze-medal finish on the World Cup circuit, behind a pair of German sleds.

German sleds 1-2 at home; Toronto's Appiah earns bronze in women's monobob

Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Benjamin Coakwell of Canada compete in the four-man bobsleigh on Saturday in Winterberg, Germany. The Canadian team slid to a bronze medal. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

It was a podium finish for pilot Justin Kripps and brakemen Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones, and Ben Coakwell on Saturday in Winterberg, Germany.

The Canadian four-man bobsleigh team earned a bronze-medal finish on the World Cup circuit, just behind a pair of German sleds.

"We are really happy with the result today after a tough week of training. I was struggling with how the track was shaped all week and crashed my first run down [in training] and had a few close calls so I'm really proud the boys stayed positive and encouraged me," Kripps said in a statement to Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton following his 13th career four-man podium.

In women's monobob, Cynthia Appiah of Toronto also collected bronze in a two-run time of one minute 58.24 seconds after earning her first medal — silver — as a pilot on the World Cup circuit a week ago in Altenberg, Germany. Appiah also placed in the top five in the opening two World Cup races in Igls, Austria.

"Last week was the confidence boost I needed. I left Igls thinking that was a track I should have got on the podium and didn't. I realized I just needed to learn to settle down, respect the sport and it would come," the 31-year-old Appiah said.

"This is the Olympic year. Everyone is stepping up their game and I'm trying to match strides with them so I'm very happy to get another podium."

The Kripps crew slid to a two-run combined time of 1:48.09 — 0.14 seconds back of winner Francesco Friedrich, who claimed yet another victory in 1:47.95.

WATCH | Kripps leads Canada to bronze in Winterberg:

Justin Kripps leads Canada to bronze in World Cup 4-man bobsleigh

8 months ago
Duration 2:38
Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Benjamin Coakwell finished 3rd in the 4-man bobsleigh competition during the IBSF World Cup in Winterberg, Germany.

His crew came out hard, posting the second-fastest start time in the opening run and followed with the fifth top time in the final heat.

"The boys blasted off some big starts to get us on the podium today," said Kripps, 34. "This track isn't high up on my list of favourites. I've had lots of problems here and I find it can change a bit depending on how much ice has built up, but I always relish a challenge. It was great to stay mentally strong and come away with a good result today."

Chance at another podium finish Sunday

The Canadian crew has racked up 10, four-man podiums in addition to its bronze medal from the 2019 world championships since hopping into the same sled after the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Fellow German pilot Johannes Lochner took silver on Saturday in 1:48.00.

Kripps will have another chance at the podium this weekend — the second four-man event in Winterberg goes on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET (CBCSports.ca).

Vancouver's Chris Spring piloted the other Canadian sled, finishing 13th in 1:48.81 with Sam Giguere and the Ottawa tandem of Mike Evelyn and Cody Sorensen.

Three-time Olympic medallist Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States set a start record (5.78 seconds) and track mark (58.88) in Saturday's monobob on the way to posting a winning time of 1:57.83, beating Australia's Bree Walker (1:58.06). Appiah was 41-100ths off the winning time and posted the second- and third-fastest start times on the challenging 15-corner track.

"It feels great to get on the podium, especially given I crashed two out of three runs in training this week," said Appiah. "I kept everything the same today — put my trust in the coaches and mechanics — and knew all I had to focus on was putting down two solid runs and everything would be okay."

WATCH | Appiah stays on women's monobob podium:

Cynthia Appiah wins bronze in World Cup bobsleigh

8 months ago
Duration 2:20
Toronto's Cynthia Appiah placed 3rd in the women's monobob competition during the IBSF World Cup in Winterberg, Germany.

The former high-level brakewoman has been making steady progress since jumping into the pilot's seat four years ago and is now taking down many of the top names in the sport each week.

Melissa Lotholz of Barrhead, Alta., placed sixth after finishing 18th of 19 finishers in Altenberg, Germany, while Christine De Bruin of Stony Plain, Alta., slid to ninth on Saturday.

Reigning world champion Kaillie Humphries of the U.S., who won last week's event, was 13th on Saturday.

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