02/19/2018 08:50 EST | Updated 02/20/2018 09:13 EST

Justin Kripps, Alexander Kopacz Tie Germans For Gold Medal In Two-Man Bobsled At PyeongChang Olympics

The duo led the field going into the fourth and final run.

MARK RALSTON via Getty Images
Canada's Alexander Kopacz and Justin Kripps have tied for a gold medal in the two-man bobsled.

Canada's Justin Kripps and Germany's Francesco Friedrich tied for gold in men's two-man bobsled at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Monday.

The Summerland, B.C., product and brakeman Alex Kopacz of London, Ont., slid to a combined four-run time of three minutes 16.86 seconds, matching the time that Friedrich and Thorsten Margis set earlier in the final run.

Kripps thought that he had won the race outright after finishing and didn't realize it was a tie.

"When I crossed that line, and I managed to actually see the clock that said No. 1 — it's pretty tough to see when you're ripping up the breaking stretch — but just so excited and everybody started mobbing into the track," Kripps said.

"I saw the Germans and they were super excited, too. I was like, 'Man, that's nice. They're really excited that we won.' We're all good friends. Once the mob kind of dispersed a little bit Thorsten was giving me a hug, he was in my ear and he was like, 'It was three hundredths and two and then we tied.' I was like, 'We tied?'

"It's insane. Amazing."

AFP/Getty Images
Canada's Alexander Kopacz and Justin Kripps celebrate at the finish line of the two-man bobsled.

Kripps joins Pierre Lueders, who took gold at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan — also in a tie — as the only Canadians to top an Olympic podium in two-man.

Lueders also won two-man silver at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, for the country's other medal in the discipline.

Lueders coaches the South Korean bobsled team and was at the track to witness Kripps's medal.

Friedrich and Thorsten Margis also finished in 3:16.91 on Monday, while Latvia's Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga won bronze in 3:16.91.

Hamilton's Nick Poloniato and brakeman Jesse Lumsden _ the former CFL running back from Burlington, Ont. — wound up in seventh in 3:17.74. Australian-born Chris Spring of Priddis, Alta., and Lascelles Brown of Calgary were 10th in 3:18.24.

AFP/Getty Images
Germany's Francesco Friedrich, left, and Thorsten Margis, second left, celebrate with Canada's Alexander Kopacz, second right, and Justin Kripps after tying for gold in the two-man bobsled.

Kripps sat second after Sunday's first two heats at the Olympic Sliding Centre in Pyeongchang, but jumped into first on his third trip down the track that measures just over 1,375 metres with a time of 49.32 seconds.

He headed into the fourth and final run 0.06 seconds up on Friedrich, who set a track record of 48.96 seconds in the third heat to leap from fifth to second, and 0.09 seconds ahead of Lochner.

The Canadian duo was slightly behind the Germans in the early part of the fourth run but quickly picked up speed before crossing in a deadlock time with Friedrich.A brakeman for Lueders in four-man at the 2010 Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., Kripps raced to a sixth-place showing in his Olympic debut as a two-man pilot in Sochi four years ago. Spring was seventh in that race.

The Canadians technically finished fourth and fifth after two Russian pilots were recently stripped of their 2014 results because of doping violations — including Alexander Zubkov, who won gold in both the two- and four-man.

Photo gallery Canada's Medal Winners At The PyeongChang Olympics See Gallery

Those sanctions initially handed down by the International Olympic Committee in November were upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport right before the Games in Pyeongchang.

Kripps's surprising two-man result in Sochi prompted Canadian officials to shuffle the setup for the four and give him some of the program's better pushers — a last-minute switch that left a number of teammates, including Spring, bewildered.

But the country's hopes for a podium didn't last long after Kripps was involved in an ugly crash late in the second heat and wound up last.

More from the Olympics:

Coming off a silver at the 2017 world championships in the two-man, Kripps had a banner World Cup campaign heading into South Korea. The 31-year-old Hawaii-born Canadian won a gold, three silvers and a bronze to secure the overall title, never finishing lower than fourth in the circuit's eight races.

He was also just outside the top-three in the four-man standings, grabbing second twice and fourth on three other occasions, to claim the combined two- and four-man World Cup crown.

Spring was third in this season's two-man standings, sixth in the four-man, and fifth in the combined rankings. Poloniato was ninth in the two, 16th in the four, and 12th in the combined.

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