Bobsleigh – Two-person Swiss bobsleigh racers annoy the beaters at the World Championships in Altenburg, but in the end the score is 4 (Simon Friedley) and 5 (Michael Vogt).
When title fights take place on a German track, the opponents’ main goal is to prevent a triple victory. Last year, Latvian Oskars Kipermanis managed to do so in a double, this time awarding the third Swiss, world junior champion Hans-Peter Hanegover, a hundredth of a second for a bronze medal for three races – with a bad ending to the Swiss. It was the defining victory of Francesco Friedrich over Johannes Lochner without a doubt.
Prior to the final round, Michael Vogt and Hannighofer previously ranked third aequo, while Fridley lurked with a 14 hundred. But the Swiss showed tension, especially Vogt, who trailed his compatriot by the tenth best time in a row. In the end, Fridley and his handle Andreas Haas were about 36 percent of a hundred bronze.
Great future potential
Bobsleigh Switzerland is still waiting for its first World Cup medal since 2016, when Hefty won two and Rico Peter in four (with Friedley pushing) each won a bronze in Innsbruck. Friedley and Vogt’s performance would, however, be rated high. Friedley, 29, from Solothurn and Haas, Lucerne, five years younger than him, are still rookies at this level. One of them had his first full season at the World Cup as a pilot this year, but showed his nerve in the big races with second place in the World Cup last winter. Former runner Haas only started bobsleigh last spring – among other things, because all athletics meetings were canceled due to coronavirus. At the World Junior Championships two weeks ago, he won the gold medal in quadruple sled Vogt.
Vogt and leader Sandro Michele are also very young in figure skating at 23 and 24, respectively. In any case, the prospects for the Olympic Games in Beijing one year from now are very promising. To confirm the Olympic limit, Fridley and Vogt only need to finish eighth in the World Cup next winter. They have the greatest potential for improvement in the beginning, as the Swiss are not (yet) in the top five and with materials, the Germans have a clear advantage.
Vogt laments that the World Cup was held for the second time in a row in the Ore Mountains due to the Lake Placid pandemic – but in the end the Swiss were closer to a medal than most had expected. Sure enough, the preferred participants from Latvia or Canada were under control.
That was enough to be better than “the rest.” As expected, Francesco Friedrich in particular was invulnerable. At the age of thirty, the Saxon named “Friedrich der Gross” was the only record holder with ten World Cup titles, ahead of Italian legend Eugenio Monti. Friedrich won an astonishing advantage of 2.05 seconds.