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Canadians finish third in team competition at bobsleigh-skeleton Worlds


ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — The United States team, including Olympic 100-meter hurdler Lolo Jones, won gold Sunday in the combined bobsled-skeleton team event at the world championships.

Jones was brakewoman for Elana Meyers in the women’s bobsled portion of an event which also added times in two-man bob plus men’s and women’s skeleton.

The U.S. edged Germany by 0.24 seconds despite the Germans winning three of four disciplines on the Olympia track.

The converted track athlete added a first gold medal in her new event to her two world titles at 60-metre hurdles indoors, in 2008 and ’10.

The winning U.S. team included two-man bob pilot Steven Holcomb who earlier Sunday lost his title in his main event to the youngest world champion in history.

At 22 years, 270 days, Francesco Friedrich of Germany took a record set in 1935 by Swiss driver Reto Capadrutt, according to bobsled’s world governing body. Holcomb placed fourth.

The American team victory was keyed by skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace being 1.7 seconds faster than German rival Marion Thees, who was ninth fastest.

The Canadian team of Lyndon Rush of Humboldt, Sask., Ottawa’s Cody Sorensen, Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries and Chelsea Valois of Zenon Park, Sask., along with skeleton athletes Eric Neilson of Kelowna, B.C., and Calgary’s Sarah Reid took bronze, 1.01 seconds behind the Americans’ overall time of 4 minutes, 31.29 seconds.

For the U.S., Meyers and Jones had been third fastest in women’s bob; Holcomb and Curtis Tomasevicz were third in two-man bob; and John Daly was seventh-fastest in men’s skeleton.

After leading the two-day, two-man bob competition throughout, Friedrich became the first to win senior and junior world titles in the same season.

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 4 minutes, 22.78 seconds.

“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.

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.

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

The championships continue for one more week, with the next medal decided Friday in women’s skeleton.

 
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