Summerland’s Justin Kripps scored gold in two-man bobsleigh at a world cup event in Altenberg, Germany (Photo courtesy Justin Kripps/Facebook)

Team Kripps sets record start times

Summerland Olympian pushes for gold at world cup

Summerland’s Justin Kripps two-man bobsleigh team put in an impressive performance at the world cup races in Altenberg, Germany this weekend.

Canada’s bobsleigh athletes slid into 2018 with a bang, claiming gold in both the women’s and men’s two-man world cup races Saturday on one of the most difficult tracks in the world.

Kripps and teammate Alex Kopacz (London, Ont.) captured their first world cup two-man title together while setting a new start record. On the women’s competition, Kaillie Humphries drove to her third victory of the world cup season in record fashion, and first with a new brakeman in Phylicia George on her sled.

“This is just an absolutely huge day for our program and especially great to do it in Altenberg,” said Chris Le Bihan, high-performance director, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “This is one of the hardest gold medals to get on the world cup. To show up in the lion’s den here in Germany, and be able to perform and win, is the real deal.”

Kripps and Kopacz set two start records before celebrating their first world cup title together in the two-man race. Posting a start time of 5.12 in the opening heat, the Canucks bettered that in the final run to set the new mark at 5.11.

The duo clocked the fastest times in both heats to secure the gold medal with a time of 1:49.21. It was the fourth two-man medal this year for Kripps, who is the overall world cup leader.

Great first week back after Christmas break, broke a 14 year old start record and won the 2man race and recovered from…

Posted by Justin Kripps on Sunday, January 7, 2018

His only other world cup two-man win came four years ago in Konigssee, Germany. Kopacz pushed Kripps to silver medals in both Whistler and Lake Placid earlier this year.

“Things are definitely rolling. To win here in Altenberg on such tough track is just awesome,” said Kripps, who now has seven career podium finishes in the two-man in addition to a silver at last year’s World Championships.

“Everything is coming together. I have more experience driving now. I went out and got the exact equipment, and runners, that I wanted, which is making a big difference.”

Related: Kripps strikes silver in Austria

Depth in the program has also played a huge role in having all three Canadian men’s sleds charging towards the podium.

“Before every run I say ‘trust yourself, trust your teammates, and execute.’ It is easy to perform when you have that trust. We are in a good place and want to just keep rolling,” added Kripps.

Perform they did. Reuniting with Kopacz, the Canadian duo set start records in both runs.

“We showed up and pushed today. We reviewed the first push and identified one minor mistake, and we nailed it on the second run. When things are going good it feels effortless. It is unbelievable,” said Kopacz.

“I’m just over the moon right now. We have been training hard, and I felt it was a matter of time until things paid off. We are heading in the right direction, and it is a lot of fun right now.”

But Team Kripps slid just short of winning medals in back-to-back days, finishing fourth in the four-man bobsleigh race. For the four-man event, he and Kopacz were joined by Jesse Lumsden (Burlington, Ont.) and Seyi Smith (Ottawa) running just .35 seconds short of the podium on the 1,413-metre track Sunday, clocking a two-run time of 1:49.14.

“The boys pushed really well today and helped us manage a decent result,” said Kripps. “Altenberg can be tricky for four-man. I had some mistakes at the top of the track, and one at the bottom as well in my first run.”

Despite the fastest start time in the opening heat, the errors had the top Canadian sled well back in seventh place after their first rip down one of the most challenging tracks in the world.

Kripps pulled it together in the final heat. Leveraging another top start time, the two-time Olympian posted the second-fastest down time to move into fourth place.

“I was able to hit my lines in the second run, and moved up a few spots so I was happy with that,” said Kripps. “It was super foggy out there. Overall, I’m happy to get to the bottom without any major problems.”

Complete results at www.ibsf.org and more information at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.

Just Posted

Downtown project on target for March start

Watermain, curb flare project tendered

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

UPDATE: Coquihalla northbound lane re-opened

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs petition

Local governments on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Okanagan a hot spot for film industry

Despite wet, smoky year Okanagan attracts $30 million in film production

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

Team chaplain reflects on time with Silverbacks

Kenny Toews served as a mentor and spiritual leader to the team for six seasons

Drawings connect autistic student with the world

Leifen Mitchell-Banks creates colourful cartoon characters at Salmon Arm Secondary.

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

10 Safeways in Lower Mainland to close, union says

Locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond and Mission slated to shut

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

‘Miraculous that nobody was killed’

Tanker full of aviation fuel involved in Highway 3 crash

Most Read