Kripps secures silver Crystal Globe in 2-man bobsleigh, Appiah snags monobob bronze

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Cynthia Appiah of Toronto finished third in the overall women's monobob World Cup season rankings. (File/AFP via Getty Images/File - image credit)
Cynthia Appiah of Toronto finished third in the overall women's monobob World Cup season rankings. (File/AFP via Getty Images/File - image credit)

Justin Kripps of Summerland, B.C., placed second in Saturday's two-man bobsleigh season finale and the overall standings while Toronto's Cynthia Appiah slid to bronze in St. Moritz, Switzerland to finish third on the monobob World Cup circuit.

Kripps, the reigning two-man Olympic champion, posted a two-run time of two minutes 11.95 seconds with brakeman Cam Stones of Whitby, Ont., trailing only Francesco Friedrich, who clocked 2:11.76 for his seventh win of the season. The German ran way with the season title, compiling 1,703 points to 1,530 by the Canadians.

The 1:05.80 second-run time from the Canadians set a track record for St. Moritz after they finished third a year ago on the only naturally refrigerated ice track in the world.

"It was an awesome race today and it doesn't get any better than racing on a day like this in St. Moritz," the 35-year-old Kripps was quoted in a Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton news release after his 21st career two-man medal. "Cam had some great start times and I felt really good on the track today."

WATCH | Kripps, Stones deliver strong performance in World Cup finale:

Sitting third after the first heat, the 29-year-old Stones provided the horsepower to move into second.

"It was … a privilege and honour to be in Justin's sled on this track," said Stones following his 11th career two-man medal. "To be successful in St. Moritz is such a bonus. Justin's runs were the best I've ever been a part of, and to finish with a track record, silver medal and a Crystal Globe feels so good."

The Canadian duo, which earned three bronze over the eight-race season, also wrapped their arms around their third two-man Crystal Globe, handed to the top three sleds in the overall World Cup standings.

"Finishing second in the overall feels amazing. It came right down to today's race in the battle for second," said Kripps. "Being able to perform under pressure like that, and to have our best overall finish together, is a great sign for Cam and I heading into the [Beijing] Games [in February]."

This is the fourth consecutive season in which Friedrich has been the season champion in both two- and four-man racing.

Rostislav Gaitiukevich of Russia earned bronze Crystal Globe with Saturday's fourth-place finish (2:12.21). Johannes Lochner rounded out the medal podium in the St. Moritz competition.

Vancouver's Chris Spring and Ottawa's Mike Evelyn slid to 13th in 2:13.09 while Calgary's Taylor Austin, competing in his first career World Cup race, split his runs with a couple of Canadian Football League players in Jay Dearborn (Yarker, Ont.) and Shaquille Murray-Lawrence (Scarborough, Ont.) to finish 18th in 2:13.82.

Appiah finished in a two-run time of 2:23.22 in the women's race, followed by American sleds piloted by Kaillie Humphries (2:22.27) and Elana Meyers Taylor (2:22.31).

"This gives me so much confidence to end the monobob season with another podium, especially on the historic St. Moritz track," said the 31-year-old Appiah, who posted the third and fastest start times in her two runs. "Leading into this week, I had never driven the track before, so to finish with a medal has put some extra wind in my sails heading towards Beijing."

In her seven races this season, Appiah never finished outside the top five and grabbed two silver medals, two bronze and added a fourth and two fifth-place finishes.

WATCH | Appiah caps season with monobob bronze:

Fellow Canadian Christine de Bruin of Stony Plain, Alta., was sixth in 2:23.70 and Melissa Lotholz of Barrhead, Alta., 11th in 2:24.43.

Appiah also locked up third spot and her first Crystal Globe in the overall standings with 1,012 points, followed closely by de Bruin (1,010). Meyers Taylor captured the season title with 1,110 points, while former Canadian national team member Humphries was second with 1,052. It was only the fourth time in any sliding sport American sleds wound up first and second in the season standings.

"My runs weren't without flaws, especially the second run, but overall I'm super happy I got to race here today," Humphries said. "This is an amazing track, and it feels so nice when you do it right."

The other instances: Katie Uhlaender and Noelle Pikus-Pace in women's skeleton in 2006-07, Zach Lund and Eric Bernotas in men's skeleton that same season, and Jean Racine and Jill Bakken in women's bobsled in 1999-2000.

Monobob, just a driver in the sled, is part of the Olympic program for the first time this year. Men's bobsleigh has always had two medal events, with two- and four-man racing. Adding monobob gives the women two medal opportunities at the Olympics as well, with it joining the traditional two-person race.

Action continues from St. Moritz with Sunday's two-woman bobsleigh event, which you can stream live on CBCSports.ca.

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