GB1 sixth at halfway stage

GB1 sixth at halfway stage

The GB1 4-man team performed admirably on Saturday morning but they have a tough battle ahead if they are to win a World Championship medal for a second successive season after they finished Day 1 in sixth place.

Brad Hall, Taylor Lawrence, Leon Greenwood and Greg Cackett are 0.25 seconds from the podium positions with two of the four heats complete in Winterberg. 

Hall and his crew won the country’s first World Championship 4-man medal for 84 years when they took silver in St Moritz last season but they always faced an uphill task to medal again after injuries meant they were given a far from ideal start draw this morning.

With Hall having had back surgery in the autumn; Cackett suffering a severe hamstring tear in the summer; and last season’s crew member Arran Gulliver missing much of the season with groin and hamstring problems, the team have had limited ice time this term and were therefore ranked 22nd heading into the showpiece event of the season. 

It meant they started 17th of 22 sleds and therefore had poorer ice conditions than the other teams pushing for the medal places in Germany.

They sat eighth after the first run having come down in 53.92 seconds off the fifth fastest start time of 5.07 but they moved up two spots after clocking the fifth quickest time (54.26) in Run 2.

Hall and co are a tenth of a second behind Austria’s Marcus Treichl in fifth, a further tenth from Latvia’s Emils Cipulis (with whom they shared silver last season) in fourth and a quarter of a second adrift of Germany’s Adam Ammour in third.

Last week’s 2-man winner, Francesco Friedrich, leads as he chases his sixth straight 4-man World Championship title to add to the back-to-back Olympic crowns he currently holds. Fellow German Johannes Lochner sits second, 0.27 behind his compatriot, with Ammour on track to make it another German 1-2-3 after their clean sweep of the 2-man medals six days ago.

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Adam Baird and his team are 18th after two runs

Hall’s British team-mates, Adam Baird, Jens Hullah, Austin Milward and Calum Dixon are 18th in a time of 1 minute 49.34 seconds.

They sat 17th after clocking 54.57 seconds in Run 1 but were two tenths slower second time around as they dropped back a spot. 

All four are making their World Championship debuts, with the three push athletes all in their first season of international competition. Injuries have meant Millward hadn’t raced for GB at all before today, while Baird only made his World Cup debut in January.

Runs 3 and 4 take place tomorrow from 1pm GMT.

There is more bobsleigh action this afternoon as Adele Nicoll and Kaya Placide look to cement their overnight position of seventh in the women’s race. They begin Run 3 at 1.30pm.

This year’s World Championships take place in Winterberg, Germany from February 22nd - March 3rd, with the schedule as follows:

Thurs 22 - Sun 25 Feb
Women's Skeleton: Stoecker 4th; Coltman 6th
Men's Skeleton: Weston 2nd; Wyatt 4th; Thompson 8th
Skeleton Mixed Team Competition: Stoecker & Weston 2nd; Coltman & Wyatt 4th
Women's Monobob: Nicoll 9th
2-man Bobsleigh: Hall & Lawrence 4th; Stanbridge & Hullah 23rd

Fri 1 Mar
Women's Bobsleigh Heats 1&2

Sat 2 Mar
4-man Bobsleigh Heats 1&2 9am
Women's Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 1.30pm

Sun 3 Mar
4-man Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 1pm

All races will be shown live on the IBSF YouTube channel and website