ST MORITZ, Switzerland -- Switzerland won the four-man world bobsled championship Sunday, ending the six-year domination of West and East Germany which had won every championship since 1976.
East Germany, world champion in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1981 took the silver medal, with Switzerland's second team finishing third.
The winning Swiss team clocked 4:31.94, 1.02 seconds ahead of the East Germans, who finished in 4:32.96.
The two U.S. sleds finished a disappointing 15th and 23rd.
The winning Swiss team of driver Silvio Giobellina, Heinz Stettler, Urs Salzmann and Rico Freiermuth used both cunning and courage as well as high precision steering to beat the perfect machinery of the East Germans.
Giobellina's team set a track record of 1:07.58 for the 1585-meter run in the first heat.
The Austrian sled of Fritz Sparrow Sperling, Franz Kofel, Andi Schwab and Gerhard Redl came in a distant fourth in 4:34.45, followed by the East German second sled.
The Soviets placed seventh. They got off to a perfect start but strayed from the best course soon afterwards.
Twenty five teams from 16 countries took part in the championship.
Canada lost its first team when driver Jim Carr tipped over and his sled slid all the way to the finish line on its side. Clarke James Flynn and Norman Carr suffered minor injuries but Carr and Mike Clarkin got off the sled unscathed.
The second team of Kirby Best, Gordon Wooley, Frank Kerr and Gregory Alford came in 23rd, trailing Taiwan, Romania and newcomers Sweden and Holland.