IGLS, Austria (AP) — Germany swept a pair of World Cup bobsled races on Sunday, with Francesco Friedrich winning in the four-man race and Laura Nolte driving to the victory in the women’s event.
Brad Hall of Britain and Johannes Lochner of Germany shared the silver medal in the four-man race, both finishing 0.26 seconds back of Friedrich’s winning time of 1 minute, 41.31 seconds.
Friedrich teamed with Alexander Schueller, Thorsten Margis and Candy Bauer for the win.
Hunter Church drove to eighth place for the U.S., with his sled pushed by Charlie Volker, Josh Williamson and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor. Church missed much of the preseason after dropping a weight on his foot and seriously injuring a toe.
“To be honest, the whole week felt like it went 100 mph,” Church said. “It’s the first time I’m back in a World Cup environment in two years, and I’m playing catch-up because of my injury. Coming away with a top-eight today feels promising.”
Codie Bascue was 14th for the U.S., teaming with Blaine McConnell, Carlo Valdes and Jimmy Reed.
In the women’s race, Nolte paired with Leonie Fiebig to win in 1:46.22. Germany also got silver with Kim Kalicki and Anabel Galander finishing in 1:46.39, and Canada grabbed bronze after Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski crossed the line in 1:46.51.
Kaillie Humphries and Sylvia Hoffman had the top U.S. finish, tying for fourth in 1:46.52 — missing a medal by just a hundredth of a second. They tied with Mariama Jamanka and Kira Lipperheide of Germany. Elana Meyers Taylor and Aja Evans were seventh for the U.S.
Lolo Jones, who has three medals in four career starts as a brakeman for the U.S. on the Igls track — including the last two golds the American women’s team has claimed there in World Cup racing — was not picked to be part of the opening-weekend lineup.
The World Cup bobsled and skeleton tour remains in Igls for another series of races next weekend.
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