Super start to Beijing 2022 Olympic season as Brad Hall pilots British Bobsleigh to silver and bronze at IBSF World Cup opener in Igls
Brad Hall and Greg Cackett won two medals in as many days as University of Bath-based British Bobsleigh made an excellent start to the 2021-22 IBSF World Cup campaign in their first races of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games season.
Having finished a fine third in the two-man event at Igls in Austria on Saturday, Hall piloted his team to silver on the same track on Sunday for GB’s first four-man medal in four years to make it one of the country’s best World Cup weekends in living memory.
Hall, Taylor Lawrence, Nick Gleeson and Cackett clocked a combined time of 1:41.57mins as they tied for second place with veteran German pilot Johannes Lochner, who piloted the crew that pipped GB to silver on Saturday.
Start times of 5.00 and 5.01 seconds were the second fastest of each run, giving Hall the platform to finish almost a quarter of a second clear of home favourite Benjamin Maier in fourth. Both races were won by Francesco Friedrich.
“It’s been a great weekend” said Hall. “We’ve done something that hasn’t been done for a very long time. We knew we were capable of a result like this but it’s brilliant to put it together on race day and to make the podium for the first time together as a four-man team.
“The boys were brilliant, just as they were in training all summer and all autumn. We had the second-best start times in both runs and that gave us the platform to compete.
“We said on Saturday that we want to be in the mix for medals in the build up to the Olympics and today we’ve shown everyone what we’re capable of in the four-man. I’m incredibly proud of the boys and I hope we’ve done the nation proud, too.”
The medal was the third of the season for Hall and Cackett, who also won silver in the two-man at the Olympic Test Event in Beijing last month, and a first of their careers for both Paratrooper Gleeson and Royal Marine Commando Lawrence.
Hall previously won four-man bronze with Cackett, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon in Park City in November 2017, with GB’s most-recent four-man medal coming with a gold for Lamin Deen, Andrew Matthews, Toby Olubi and Ben Simons in Whistler a week later.
Deen, Fearon, Olubi and Simons finished 21st in today’s race, missing out on a top-20 spot and a second run by seven hundredths of a second.
In the women’s race earlier in the day, Mica McNeill and Montell Douglas finished 16th in a time of 1:47.34.
Next week’s racing also takes place in Igls, with men’s and women’s skeleton on Friday, women’s mono bob and two-man set for Saturday, and women’s and four-man bobsleigh scheduled for Sunday.