Kripps, Canadian 4-man bobsleigh team finish 3rd in World Cup standings
B.C. athlete drives squad to bronze in Austria; Canada's women miss podium
Francesco Friedrich piloted Germany to gold and Justin Kripps drove Canada to bronze Sunday in the final World Cup four-man bobsled race before the world championship.
Friedrich and Kripps of Summerland, B.C., tied for two-man bobsled gold at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Friedrich and his German crew posted the fastest times in both runs Sunday in Innsbruck, Austria, compiling a two-run time of one minute 42.08 seconds.
Kripps and brakemen Ryan Sommer of Kelowna, B.C., Saskatoon's Benjamin Coakwell and Cam Stones of Whitby, Ont., finished .39 seconds back of the Germans in 1:42.47.
WATCH | Canadian men prep for worlds with 3rd-place finish in Austria:
For a second straight year, Kripps finished third overall in the season's World Cup four-man standings, with Friedrich in first and Maier in second this season.
3 podiums in 4 races
"We are really happy to get a medal and especially happy to get the bronze Crystal Globe," the 34-year-old Kripps told Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton after his 11th career four-man podium but only his second on the 1,478-metre track in Igls.
"Our crew had a game plan coming into this race which we executed quite well," added Sommer, the youngest member of the crew at 27. "The mission this year was to build momentum going into the Olympic year. Three podiums in four races gives us confidence in a year full of uncertainties."
WATCH | Season champ Friedrich captures Sunday's race:
The Canadian men captured a silver and two bronze medals in four starts in the condensed four-man season this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Besides their bronze at 2019 worlds, they have eight four-man podiums since becoming a team following the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
"We didn't set any overall goals this year," Kripps said. "We always want to be hunting down the podium but with COVID situations this year, it was all about building some momentum and seeing what we need to work on.
"We've absolutely accomplished that goal, and we're feeling great heading into the world championships."
Chris Spring (Calgary), Mike Evelyn (Ottawa), Mark Mlakar (Ottawa) and Chris Patrician (Toronto) were 16th in Sunday's event in 1:43.47.
Humphries wins in bobsleigh return
Toronto's Cynthiah Appiah and Edmonton's Dawn Richardson Wilson missed a medal by 2-100ths of a second and placed fourth in the women's bobsled in a two-run time of 1:47.15.
Less than a tenth of a second separated the top four teams.
"This feels amazing. I was super disappointed in my second run [on Saturday], so this was some redemption for me," said Appiah, who was also fourth in Saturday's women's monobob race. "I know this track well enough even though I haven't had much racing experience here, so I knew if I just relaxed, pushed well and had two consistent runs I'd be okay.
"Inside our Canadian team, the Olympic season has started now. I feel like we have done a really good job of solidifying ourselves today [as a strong contender]. Being 8-100ths from gold and so close to the bronze definitely builds your confidence."
Kaillie Humphries, a two-time Olympic champion for Canada who now competes for the United States, won Sunday's race with brakewoman Lolo Jones in 1:47.07.
WATCH | Humphries, Jones team for 2-man victory:
Humphries returned Sunday after sitting out Saturday's monobob competition to prepare for next week's world championship in Germany.
It was the 27th career World Cup women's bobsled victory for Humphries, and the eighth time Jones has helped a sled earn a medal in her last 12 World Cup starts.
American teammates Elana Meyers Taylor and Kwaza Lake finished second (1:47.11), followed by Austrians Katrin Beierl and Jennifer Jantina Oluumi Desire Onasanya in third (1:47.13).
Melissa Lotholz of Barrhead, Alta., and Sara Villani of Norval, Ont., were fifth, stopping the clock in 1:47.35, after sitting seventh after the first run.
Edmonton's Alysia Rissling and Erica Voss (Toronto) slid to 11th in 1:47.77.
Canada's top pilot, Christine de Bruin, did not start this weekend's World Cup race because she is training for the world championships that open Friday in Altenberg, Germany.
WATCH | Lotholz reaches monobob podium in 3rd on Saturday:
With files from CBC Sports & The Associated Press