LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Swiss driver Ekkehard Fasser pocketed gold Sunday in the 4-man bobsleds world championships Sunday with a sizzling third-heat descent of 58.99 seconds, setting a track record.
The 31-year-old current U.S. bobsled champion won the title with a 4-heat record of 3:57.24, beating the mark of 3:58.99 set by Bill Renton of the United States earlier this year.
Fasser's crew includes Hans Maerchy, Kurt Poletti and Rolf Strittnatter.
Fasser said cold temperatures and a clear track helped in setting the new mark, surpassing the run of 59.23 he established Saturday. Sleds driven by Peter Kienast of Austria and Andreas Weikenstorfer of West Germany rolled over on the slick run, bringing to four the number of crashes among 17 sleds from nine nations competing here over the weekend.
No one was seriously injured.
A West German sled driven by Klaus Kopp, who briefly held the track record of 59.08 Sunday before Fasser's run, was second in 3:57.90. Other crew members are Gerhard Oechsle, Gunter Neuberger and Hayo Schuhmacher.
East Germany's Detlev Richter was third in 3:58.11, with crew members Thomas Forch, Henry Gerlach and Dietmar Jerke.
Former recordholder Renton, 33, of Chesapeake, Va., was sixth in 4:00.54, the best finish by an American crew since Paul Vincent was sixth in 1969. Other crew members are Chuck Leonowicz, 24, Waterford, N.Y., Sid Hooper, 27, Elizabethtown, N.Y., and brakeman Carl Flanagan, 25, Deer Lodge, Mont.
'It hurts when we've tried so hard to set records to see the Europeans come over and break it as if it's child's play,' Renton said. 'I'm very happy with what we did considering we only had four days to work together as a team.'
The other American sled, driven by Bob Hickey, 30, of Keene, N.Y., was eighth in 4:00.63. Behind Hickey are crew members John Cogar, 33, of Saranac Lake, N.Y., Dick Nalley, 28, Indianapolis, and Richard Bisso, 29, Plattsburgh, N.Y.