Double gold a goal for Canada’s Kripps at world bob championships in Whistler

Canada has never won both two-man and four-man gold at a single world championship

Canada’s Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cameron Stones, and Benjamin Coakwell, compete during the four-man World Cup bobsled event in Calgary, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. Double gold is difficult, but doable, according to Canadian bobsled pilot Justin Kripps.Canada has never won both two-man and four-man gold at a single world championship. In fact, a Canadian crew hasn’t won a world four-man title since 1965. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Double gold is difficult, but doable, according to Canadian bobsled pilot Justin Kripps.

Canada has never won both two-man and four-man gold at a single world championship. In fact, a Canadian crew hasn’t won a world four-man title since 1965.

READ MORE: Kelowna athletes continue run at Canada Winter Games

But Kripps has his reasons to feel optimistic when he steps to the start line Friday, and not the least of which is the host Canadian bob team has a significant home-track advantage in Whistler, B.C.

“We’ve got to win, that’s the goal,” Kripps told The Canadian Press. “That’s what we want. Two and four. I think we have a good shot in both. We just need to execute.”

His talent driving two-man sleds is established.

The 32-year-old from Summerland, B.C., and brakeman Alex Kopacz tied Germans Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis for Olympic two-man gold in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.

The Canadian duo finished atop the overall World Cup standings in 2018 in that discipline. Kripps and Jesse Lumsden earned world championship silver in 2017.

But Kripps posted a breakout first World Cup victory in four-man Feb. 17 in Lake Placid, N.Y., with crewmen Cam Stones of Whitby, Ont., Saskatoon’s Ben Coakwell and Ryan Sommer of White Rock, B.C.

“It’s pretty huge for us to win in the four-man,” Kripps said. “We don’t get as much success in four-man as we do in two-man. A lot more moving parts to the whole thing.

“It’s more difficult to get everything together to the point where you can actually win a race or contend for medals. You have extra guys, there’s more people jumping into the sled and it seems the equipment is a little more elusive.”

The world championships opening Friday include women’s bobsled and men’s and women’s skeleton before closing March 9.

Twenty-two Canadians will race bobsled and another five will compete in skeleton.

Ottawa’s Mirela Rahneva has momentum in women’s skeleton. The 30-year-old won two of her last four World Cup races and placed second in the season-finale Saturday in Calgary.

Bobsleigh Skeleton Canada high-performance director Chris Le Bihan says the host team is capable of multiple medals across all disciplines.

International bob teams are less familiar and comfortable with the Whistler track, built just over a decade ago, than they are with Calgary’s 33-year-old facility, he said.

The Canadians get more time on the Whistler track than other national teams. It’s a fast, technical course demanding precision at high speeds, while Calgary’s is a slower course requiring patience and finesse.

Kripps describes Whistler’s bottom section as “super-intense.”

“You’ve got to do your helmet up tight and focus,” he said.

And like the Olympic Games, medals are determined by the combined times of four runs instead of just two on the World Cup circuit.

“The biggest advantage is our athletes will be able to be more consistent,” Le Bihan said. “We’re talking about a four-heat race obviously. We’ll have more consistency over those four heats. I’m betting not any other nation will be.”

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

New book from Nanaimo Historian details social history of the E&N railway

Along the E&N tells the story of 32 establishments from Esquimalt to Campbell River.

‘Mamma Mia!’ calling all Dancing Queens to Chemainus Theatre

‘Mamma Mia!’ promises summertime fun with ABBA music, fun and a romantic story

Sanseverino limbing mountains to understand mountains

Ladysmith Camera Club hosts Mountain Legacy Project shooter to talk Canada’s changing wilderness

Ladysmith’s Weeks destined to help visitors

New Chemainus Visitor Centre Manager brings impressive credentials to the job

Historic 75th AGM highlights successes of LDCU

Ladysmith District Credit Union celebrated 75 years of service at their annual general meeting.

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read