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Altenberg (dpa) - Bobsleigh pilot Francesco Friedrich is at halftime of the two-man bobsleigh world championship with a sovereign lead on record course for world championships.

With snowstorms and temperatures around the freezing point in Altenberg, the 30-year-old Friedrich drove away from the world's elite with his push-puller Alexander Schüller on Saturday and had 0.88 seconds ahead of second-placed Johannes Lochner, who rode Eric from Potsdam, before the two runs on Sunday Franke drove.

Friedrich, the double Olympic champion from BSC Sachsen Oberbärenburg, would then be the only world record winner with his tenth world title after the legendary Italian Eugenio Monti also won nine world championship gold medals.

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The Berchtesgadener Lochner, who started for Stuttgart, botched the first run a bit and improved to second place in the second run.

World Cup debutant Hans-Peter Hannighofer with Christian Röder is also within reach of a medal.

The junior world championship duo from BRC Thuringia is only ten hundredths of a second behind the third-placed Swiss Michael Vogt;

Christoph Hafer (BC Bad Feilnbach) and Christian Hammers (TuS Wiesbaden) ended up in seventh place for the time being.

Co-favorite Benjamin Maier from Austria crashed in the second round.

The Canadian Justin Kripps came only in tenth place after mixed performance.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210206-99-327171 / 2

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