Hall puts 4-man misfortune behind him
Brad Hall and his crew put their run of bad luck behind them with a superb seventh place finish in their first 4-man bobsleigh outing of the season on Sunday, just 24 hours after a fine fifth-place showing in the 2-man competition at the same event.
Hall has seen his team decimated by injury this term, with Sam Blanchet rupturing his Achilles in St Moritz last Saturday, a week after Nick Gleeson tore his hamstring in Winterberg.
Those setbacks meant Hall and co missed both 4-man competitions in the last fortnight and, with Luke Dawes unable to get to Germany in time for the IBSF Covid testing protocols at the beginning of last week, they faced the prospect of being absent yet again before Bruce Tasker stepped in to save the day.
Olympic bronze medalist Tasker retired after suffering a stroke just before the last Olympics but, having been passed medically fit to slide, diverted his journey home from Austria where he had been coaching the GB Development Squad to link with up with the crew in Konigssee.
And that change in plan paid off as Tasker helped Hall, Taylor Lawrence and Greg Cackett clock a combined time of 1 minute 38.43 seconds that saw Hall miss out on a first 4-man top six since his bronze medal in Park City back in 2017 seasons by just one hundredth of a second.
Their start times of 4.91 and 4.92 seconds were both top ten efforts despite the fact that Tasker hadn’t raced for more than three years and the result was a personal best for Hall in Konigssee.
Lamin Deen and his team of Joel Fearon, Ben Simons and James Dasaolu also recorded fine start times for a crew with minimal ice time together as they clocked 4.92 on both occasions on route to a 13th-place finish.
Deen, Fearon, Simons & Dasaolu joined up for the second race running
Deen’s team sat 10th at halfway after registering a time of 49.37 seconds, before dropping down the standings after a second run time of 49.51.
The result was Deen’s best finish in eight World Cup 4-man races since he placed 12th with Simons, Olly Butterworth and Ryan Letts at the same track almost 12 months ago to the day.
Francesco Friedrich continued his dominance of the season with another race win, with Austria’s Benjamin Maier and Germany’s Johannes Lochner the other medalists.
In women’s bobsleigh on Sunday afternoon, Victoria Williamson made her World Cup debut when she finished 14th with Mica McNeill.
Vics Williamson made her World Cup debut in Konigssee
Williamson’s top-tier bobsleigh bow came two years after she last featured in a World Cup competition for British Cycling.
The 27-year-old raced twice in Europa Cup competition in December 2019 but has struggled with injury and had been forced home to rehab earlier this season.
McNeill and Williamson recorded a time of 1 minute 43.08 seconds after a first run effort of 51.63 seconds and a second run of 51.45.
Germany’s Kim Kalicki won gold from team mate Stephanie Schneider, with Elana Meyers Taylor taking bronze for the United States.