Silver secures overall World Cup medal
Great Britain are guaranteed a first men’s bobsleigh overall World Cup medal for 28 years after Brad Hall, Arran Gulliver, Taylor Lawrence and Greg Cackett won silver in Igls on Saturday afternoon.
No British men’s team has made the overall podium since Mark Tout in 1995 but Hall and co have matched that feat with a race to spare thanks to a sixth medal in seven World Cup 4-man competitions this season.
Having won the country’s first 4-man World Championship medal in 84 years with silver in St Moritz six days ago, Hall, Gulliver, Lawrence and Cackett made more history as they repeated that performance in clocking a combined time of 1 minute 40.84 seconds in the penultimate race of the year.
They entered the event tied at the top of the world rankings with Germany’s World and Olympic Champion and today’s race winner Francesco Friedrich and they still have a strong chance of winning the overall title at the same venue tomorrow. Friedrich, who has claimed the last four overall 4-man titles, now sits 15 points ahead of the Brits but victory tomorrow would be enough to see Hall’s team at least draw level again regardless of how Friedrich performs in Austria.
Hall's 4-man crew have only missed a medal once this season
GB were the third fastest starters in each heat as they maintained their record of never being outside the top three quickest teams off the top in a total of 14 World Cup runs so far this season. They were 15 hundredths behind Friedrich after Run 1 and eventually finished 0.19 seconds from gold at a track where the German hasn’t been beaten in either 2-man or 4-man action for 12 races.
Freidrich’s team-mate Johannes Lochner took bronze to stay third in the world standings, 127 points behind Hall. If Lochner wins tomorrows race, Hall and his crew would need to finish no lower than 15th to ensure the newly crowned 2-man World champion doesn’t stop them from winning overall silver.
GB have won three gold (Lake Placid and twice in Altenberg) and three silver medals (Whistler, Winterberg and now Igls) in World Cup 4-man competition this term and they finished fourth in the only race they haven’t made the podium.
Tomorrow’s race begins at 1.30pm GMT, with Nikki McSweeney and Risqat Fabunmi-Alade going for GB in the women’s bobsleigh at 9am.
The 2-man season concludes with a double header in Sigulda next week, with the Latvian track’s inability to host 4-man races resulting in back-to-back 4-man competitions in Igls.
Earlier on Saturday, Corie Mapp finished sixth in the penultimate para bobsleigh race of the season in Lillehammer.
Mapp still sits third in the overall standings ahead of the final race of the year at the same track tomorrow, just 12 points behind America's Robert Baulk in second but only two points clear of Switzerland's Jonas Frei in fourth.