23 January 2023
Great Britain won a first-ever European Championships gold medal in bobsleigh and Matt Weston claimed the men’s skeleton continental crown as University of Bath-based sliders continued their history-making season in style.
Brad Hall, Arran Gulliver, Taylor Lawrence and Greg Cackett saw off all three German Olympic medallists on their home ice in Altenberg for a second successive week to strike gold in a race that doubled as World Cup 6 and the continental championships.
“It’s an amazing feeling – it’s probably the highlight of all of our careers,” said pilot Hall, who now has 17 World Cup medals to his name. “We’ve done something no British team has ever done before and that feels pretty special. We’ve made history and no one can take that away from us.”
Sunday’s gold goes one better than GB’s most recent European Championships bobsleigh medal, when John Jackson, Stu Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon claimed silver in 2014 – the same year they won Olympic bronze in Sochi.
The bobsleigh success came two days after Weston became the first British man to take the European skeleton title since Kristan Bromley in Cesana 15 years ago, finishing three-tenths of a second clear of Olympic champion Christopher Grotheer and Olympic silver medallist Axel Jungk on their home track.
“To be the first Brit to be European Champion for a long time is a great feeling,” said Weston who, like the four-man crew, was winning his second World Cup gold in Altenberg in seven days. “I knew I could improve after last week, I knew there was more in the tank, and I feel like I did that, particularly in that first run.”
Team-mates Marcus Wyatt and Craig Thompson were fourth and fifth respectively in the European standings, while Brogan Crowley was fifth in the women’s continental competition. They have been selected to contest this week’s World Championships in St Moritz along with Weston, Laura Deas and Tabby Stoecker.
There was more medal success on the Europa Cup skeleton circuit where Amelia Coltman won gold on Thursday and silver on Friday. Laurence Bostock and Jacob Salisbury also claimed silver and bronze respectively in the men’s races.