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Francesco Friedrich loses Olympic trial and misses European title

Francesco Friedrich suffered his first defeat in the last four-man bobsleigh World Cup race of the season.

The Latvian Oskars Kibermanis was 0.16 seconds faster on the natural ice rink in St. Moritz on Sunday and also snatched the title away from Friedrich in the European Championships held at the same time.

The Russian Rostislav Gaitiukevich came third in the European Championships and World Cup. In return, the double Olympic champion secured the overall World Cup in the premier class a week earlier in Winterberg. The day before, Friedrich had won the race and the crystal ball in the small sled.

With Rödiger and Grothkopp

Friedrich did not ride with his Olympic crew in the Swiss Engadin, as his last injured brakeman, Alexander Rödiger, got his deserved farewell.

This time, instead of Thorsten Margis and Candy Bauer, Rödiger and Martin Grothkopp sat in the bobsleigh. Rödiger tore a biceps muscle eight weeks ago and is now contesting the last race of his long career.

Christoph Hafer, who started with his Beijing pushers Michael Salzer, Matthias Sommer and Tobias Schneider, finished fourth in the World Cup and European Championships.

Johannes Lochner and his Olympic crew Florian Bauer, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp finished fifth in the World Cup and fourth in the European Championships at the same time as Canadian Justin Kripps.

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