Wed. Apr 8th, 2020

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2020 IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships: Friedrich Drives Himself Into The History Books

3 min read

Photo Credit: IBSF

Francesco Friedrich (GER) has become the first bobsleigh pilot to ever win six successive world titles at the 2-man bobsleigh World Championships. The Olympic Champion and his brakeman, Thorsten Margis, were in a league of their own for the entire competition. After four runs, the pair had a 1.65-second lead over their team-mates Johannes Lochner/Christopher Weber (GER), who won World Championship silver.

Friedrich was clearly aware of what he had just accomplished, and was not afraid to show how happy he was. The world champion commented on his victory saying, “We have spent two and a half years working towards this moment. This is our redemption. Crazy, we made it! To have got the record is really incredible.”

Even though he had to settle for second, Johannes Lochner was also very pleased with performance, saying “That was a tough season for us and I’m just happy! Losing to Franz is not something to be embarrassed about, he races in a league of his own. I’m so happy with silver”

European Champions Oskars Kibermanis/Matiss Miknis of Latvia fought their way up to bronze position in the very last heat. This was no small feat as Kibermanis/Miknis had to pass two German pairs to take the final step on the podium.

Kibermanis was pleased with his performance in Altenberg, saying “That was a pretty big job to get into the medals over the four runs. I am really happy now; I wasn’t yesterday after the second run. However, I never stopped believing that we could get a medal. Gold was never in my sights; Francesco is just too strong, but the fight for silver and bronze was really good and in front of an amazing backdrop.”

Nico Walther/Eric Franke (GER), second before the final heat, fell down the rankings and finished in fourth place. They can blame their fourth run for this, as it was the second slowest of the session. It was a tough pill for the Germans to swallow, but there’s no doubt they’ll be back to chase glory once again.

Junior World Champions Richard Oelsner/Malte Schwenzfeier (GER) finished the 2020 BMW IBSF World Championships in fifth place ahead of Austria’s Benjamin Maier/Markus Sammer. Oelsner and Maier also achieved their best World Championship result in 2-man bobsleigh. Both pairs finished well over two seconds behind Friedrich/Margis.

With six titles in succession, Francesco Friedrich is now the sole record-holder for this category. He previously shared the record of five back-to-back titles with Eugenio Monti (ITA, 1957–1961). However, Eugenio Monti still has the edge when it comes to total titles: The Italian athlete was the 2-man bobsleigh World Champion eight times between 1957 and 1968.

There will be a three day break in action at Alenberg. Racing will begin again with men’s skeleton on Thursday.

You can watch replays from the world championships on the IBSF’s YouTube channel, or on your television via your national broadcaster. To look at a detailed version of results visit Totallympics Media will continue it’s coverage of the 2020 IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships later this week.

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