A Canadian bobsleigh team, under the guidance of Justin Kripps of Summerland, won silver in World Cup action in Germany on Sunday. (IBSF photo)

Canadian bobsleigh team wins silver in Germany

Summerland athlete Justin Kripps is pilot of World Cup team

Canada’s Team Kripps earned a silver medal in World Cup bobsleigh action in Germany on Sunday.

The silver medal finish, in Winterberg, Germany, was the team’s first podium finish of the season.

Kripps, from Summerland, piloted his crew of Ben Coakwell of Saskatoon, Ryan Sommer of White Rock and Cam Stones of Whitby, Ont. with a two-run combined time of 1:48.70.

The course was a 15-corner track.

“We had really good execution on both of our pushes. This is something that we have worked on this off-season. Being able to execute on race day is exactly what we wanted to do,” Kripps said.

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Canada’s bobsleigh athletes had trained at home for the first half of the World Cup season due to international travel risks associated with COVID-19.

“Our team motto was always to ‘stay ready’ because we never really knew when we were going to get the chance to race this year,” said Sommer, the youngest member of the team.

“We were very happy to come out today and lay down the runs we did – from the starts and right through the driving from Justin. We really wanted this for eachother today. This is a great way to start the season and we look forward to building on this heading into next week in St. Moritz.”

The silver-medal triumph was the ninth career four-man medal as a pilot for Kripps. It was the sixth four-man podium for the burly Canadian crew since hopping into the same sled together following the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

The Canadian crew also won bronze in the four-man at the 2019 World Championships.

“This performance is a testament to the team we’ve built over the last few years. It shows who we are – to be able to come over here, without sliding hardly at all this year in a challenging training environment during these times, and get on the podium right away,” said Kripps.

He said the German track is a challenging course.

“This track is difficult because the Germans have a million training runs here and the weather is always terrible. It can also be tricky here because it can catch you falling asleep at the top where there is no speed or pressure, and sometimes you don’t pay attention to the details that build what little speed you have for the bottom,” he said

The next competition for the team will be at St. Moritz, Switzerland, next weekend.

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Justin Kripps of Summerland gives the thumbs-up at a recent competition in Germany. (IBSF photo)

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