Historic result for Hall & Gleeson

Historic result for Hall & Gleeson

British Bobsleigh are celebrating their joint best 2-man World Championship result for 53 years after Brad Hall and Nick Gleeson finished equal fourth in Canada in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Former decathlete Hall and serving Paratrooper Gleeson just missed a first British medal since Olympic Champions Tony Nash and Robin Dixon won bronze in Cortina in 1966.

They instead equalled the achievement of recently retired Bruce Tasker and current 4-man team-mate Joel Fearon, who themselves finished fourth in Igls, Austria in 2016.

Hall and Gleeson sat fourth overnight after a fine showing in the first two runs on the fastest track in the world in Whistler and they held that position at the finish despite having seen Canada’s Chris Spring jump ahead of them after Run 3.

The British pair clocked an overall time of 3 minutes 25.68 seconds to tie with Spring to a hundredth of a second over almost four miles of racing at speeds of up to 94mph.

It marked another huge step forward for 28-year-old Hall and 22-year-old World Championship debutant Gleeson after they had set three successive personal bests on the World Cup circuit since the turn of the year, including a first top-six 2-man result for GB for 13 years.

And it came with the added pressure of knowing that there is currently no funding agreed for the remainder of the Beijing Olympic cycle as both men target a second successive appearance at the sport’s showpiece event following their debuts in South Korea last season.

Fellow Brits Lamin Deen and Toby Olubi missed out on a place in the final run and the top 20 after they were disqualified for a weight discrepancy at the end of Run 3.

Germany’s Francesco Friedrich equalled the legendary Eugenio Monti’s record of five successive World Championships as he won his battle for gold with Canadian rival Justin Kripps.

Friedrich became the first man to win all eight World Cup races in a single season with victory in Calgary last week and he further cemented his place as an all-time great as he took top spot by 0.59 seconds.

Nico Walther made it two medals for the Germans as he beat Hall and Gleeson and Spring and Neville Wright to bronze.

Earlier in the day, Mica McNeill and Montell Douglas finished the first two of their four World Championship runs in 13thposition. They race again at 7.30pm GMT this evening.