CANADIAN BOBSLEIGH ATHLETES WIN SILVER AND BRONZE MEDALS AT WHISTLER SLIDING CENTRE
February 6, 2009
WHISTLER, B.C.—Canada’s women’s and men’s bobsleigh athletes thrilled a sold-out crowd lining the track of the new Whistler Sliding Centre after winning a silver and bronze medal in World Cup racing Friday.
Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries teamed up with Heather Moyse, of Summerside, P.E.I., to win the silver medal in the women’s matinee race. The Canadian duo who are competing in just their third race together in the Canada 2 sled, clocked a second-place time of one minute 47.28 seconds.
‘Getting on the podium was a goal of mine this week, but this is just another step towards the ultimate goal in 2010 and we have a number of more steps to go before we get there,” said Humphries. “I really wasn’t thinking about results this week, but was more focused on just putting down two consistent runs, and we did that today.”
The silver-medal performance was the best-ever result for Humphries, who is in her sophomore season as a pilot on the World Cup. The 23-year-old captured her first World Cup medal last season when she won the bronze in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Two American teams joined the Canucks on the podium. Shauna Rohbock piloted the USA 1 sled to gold with teammate Elana Meyers. The American duo clocked a winning a time of 1:47.10. Erin Pac and Michelle Rzepka drove the USA 2 sled to the final spot on the podium with a time of 1:47.40.
A determined Helen Upperton, of Calgary, battled through a rib injury to put the Canada 1 women’s sled into fourth spot. Upperton, and brakeman Jenny Ciochetti, of Edmonton posted a two-run time of 1:47.47. Calgary’s Amanda Stepenko piloted the Canada 3 sled with Shelley-Ann Brown, of Pickering, Ont., to 11th-place (1:48.18).
Canada’s Pierre Lueders and David Bissett looked to turn silver into gold as night rolled through the Whistler Sliding Centre for the start of the men’s two-man race.
The two Edmonton natives teamed up to put down the fastest run in the opening heat, whiled leading the Canada 1 two-man sled to its third consecutive podium finish. The final sled of the night to blast off the start line, Lueders ran into trouble in corner four on the second heat, and was forced to settle for third place with a time of 1:44.14.
“It was the same as the problems I've had all year here – turns four and five," Lueders said. "It's not something to jump off the cliff over. Just a technical thing I need to come to grips with. There's still a year to go until the Olympics and I still have a lot of work to do."
Stealing the gold-medal spot was the Germany 2 team of Thomas Florschütz and Marc Kühne, who crossed the finish line with a time of 1:43.95. Beat Hefti teamed up with Thomas Lamparter in the Switzerland 1 sled to finish second (1:44.03).
The highlight of the men’s race was Canada’s Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., and Calgary’s Lascelles Brown climbing five spots into fourth place after clocking the third-fastest run of the final heat at 52:04 (1:44.22), good enough for their best-ever World Cup finish.
World Cup bobsleigh and skeleton racing is the feature event in the Resort Municipality of Whistler this weekend. The sold-out crowd of 3,000 spectators for the second straight night lined the 1,450-metre track.
“It is so incredible to be racing here in Whistler,” said Heather Moyse with the silver medal around her neck. “We never see this many people at a race in North America. It is just so amazing because all of these screaming Canadians are the ones who we are racing for.”
The Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup continues on Friday in St. Moritz with women’s races on Friday, while the men will hit the track again on Saturday.
For more information on Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, please visit us at www.bobsleigh.ca on the Internet.
Top-Five Men’s Two-Man Bobsleigh Results:
1. Thomas Florschütz/Marc Kühne, GER2, 1:43.95; 2. Beat Hefti/Thomas Lamparter, SUI1, 1:44.03; 3. Pierre Lueders, Edmonton/David Bissett, Edmonton, CAN1, 1:44.14; 4. Lyndon Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Lascelles Brown, Calgary, 1:44.22; T5. Andre Lange/Rene Hoppe, GER1, 1:44.23; T5. Ivo Rueegg/Cédric Grand, SUI2, 1:44.23.
Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results: complete results www.fibt.com
1. Shauna Rohbock/Elana Myers, USA !, 1:47.10; 2. Kaillie Humphries, Calgary/Heather Moyse, Summerside, P.E.I., CAN 21:47.28; 3. Erin Pac/Michelle Rzepka, USA 2, 1:47.20; 4. Helen Upperton, Calgary/Jenny Ciochetti, Edmonton, 1:47.47; 5. Sandra Kiriasis/Patricia Polifka, GER 1, 1:47.54.
Other Canadian Women’s Results:
11. Amanda Stepenko, Calgary/Shelley-Ann Brown, Calgary, CAN 3, 1:48.18