4-Man boys back among the medals

4-Man boys back among the medals

British Bobsleigh were back among the medals on Sunday afternoon as the 4-man crew won World Cup bronze in Lillehammer.

Brad Hall, Leon Greenwood, Taylor Lawrence and Greg Cackett finished third in the fifth top-tier race of a campaign heavily disrupted by injuries.

They clocked a combined time of 1 minute 40.15 seconds, registering the fifth fastest starts and third fastest downtimes in each of the two heats.

Having won overall World Cup medals in the 2-man, 4-man and Combined disciplines last season, this year began with Hall, Cackett and Arran Gulliver all recovering from serious injury before Gulliver succumbed to a separate hamstring tear just a few weeks ago. 

But despite those setbacks, Hall and co have again showed they can compete with the very best in the world as they built on sixth spot in Igls before Christmas and in St Moritz a fortnight ago to secure their first 4-man medal since they won silver in Igls in February last year.

“We’re over the moon to be back in the top three - that’s where we feel we belong,” said Cackett.

Brad’s driving was amazing - it felt smooth as hell in the back of the sled - and we’d only had one 4-man run on Thursday.

“Our starts are still going up so that’s exciting for the crew to keep building from. We’re in a good place and excited about what’s next.”

“To be back in the medals so soon after getting back in a sled - and with a month to go to the World Championships - puts us in a good place ahead of those Worlds in Winterberg,” added Hall, who had back surgery in the autumn.

It’s been a great week, especially as I’ve only been to this track once and that was about four years ago. The ice is very fast here and we adapted to that pretty quickly after we played around with the 2-man sleds. 

“There were a few unknowns for the race because we’d only had one practice run in the 4-man but we did what we wanted. We wanted to be in the top three and in touching distance of the best sleds in the first run and then finish it off the right way in the second run. We did that and - considering everything that’s happened this year with all the injuries that’s a great feeling. 

“Fingers crossed we can keep improving, keep moving forward and be in our best shape by the time we get to the World Champs.”

For Hall, Lawrence and Cackett, it was an eighth 4-man gold, silver or bronze of this Olympic cycle, while for Greenwood, it was a maiden medal in just his second World Cup race.

Double Olympic Champion Francesco Friedrich took the race win ahead of current World Cup points leader Johannes Lochner in a German one-two.

The race featured two British teams for the first time since the 2021/22 season as Adam Baird piloted his crew to 17th in a time of 1.41.51 on his World Cup debut. None of Baird’s squad of Ally Kay, Jens Hullah and Luka Williams had competed at this level before but all will have benefitted from the experience as they target a place at the 2026 Olympics.

Earlier in the day, British shot putt champion Adele Nicoll finished 11th in the Women’s Bobsleigh with Kya Placide as Nikki McSweeney and Willa Gibb placed 14th. Nicoll, Placide and Gibb were all making their World Cup debuts in the discipline.

In yesterday’s action, Hall and Lawrence made the wider the podium with sixth spot in the 2-man, with Nicoll 15th in the monobob.

The World Cup circuit now heads to Sigulda in Latvia for 2-man, monobob and women’s competitions next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with those events doubling as the European Championships. The next 4-man race takes place in Altenberg, Germany on February 18.