Canada’s Amy Gough Slides to Bronze at Skeleton World Cup in Calgary
February 9, 2012
—Mellisa Hollingsworth finishes fourth in Overall Standings, Eric Neilson leads Canadian men in sixth—
CALGARY—Canada’s Amy Gough shared a piece of the bronze medal at the Skeleton World Cup finale, presented by VisitCalgary.com, on her home track in Calgary on Thursday afternoon.
The 34-year-old Olympian hopped onto the final spot of the podium with Britain’s Shelley Rudman after finishing in a dead heat for third spot at 1:56.57.
“I felt really good today. I had good pushes and was really calm and confident. It was so nice to be racing at home,” said Gough, who captured her first World Cup victory in Winterberg, Germany earlier this year.
Elizabeth Yarnold, of Great Britain, won the gold with a time of 1:55.93. Germany’s Anja Huber was second at 1:56.47.
The sixth career podium finish for Gough, of Abbotsford, B.C., was also the second-straight season she finished third on the Canada Olympic Park track.
“We haven’t been sliding in Calgary since October so it was a tough week of training for the Canadians,” said Gough, who racked up $5,000 as part of WinSport Canada’s Sarah Burke award for any Canadian who finishes on the podium at a World Cup in Calgary. “We’ve slid here a lot so we got up to speed quickly. I really like Calgary and today just feels really good.”
Two other Canadians finished just off the podium. Mellisa Hollingsworth, of Eckville, Alta., was in a tie for second after the first run, but dropped to fifth place in her second trip down the 14-corner track while posting a combined time of 1:56.70.
Hollingsworth’s tough finish in the eight-race World Cup circuit put her in fourth place in the final overall standings.
“The word of the day is disappointment,” said Hollingsworth, who posted two victories and two bronze-medal finishes on the season. “I was pretty happy with my season and I was fairly consistent, but the goal now is World Championships. As soon as you said Lake Placid I got excited. There is lots of work to do and it starts tomorrow.”
Sitting in ninth spot after the opening run, Calgary’s 24-year-old Sarah Reid put down the third fastest run in the second heat to climb her way up to seventh with a two-run time of 1:56.71.
“I am very happy,” beamed Reid at the finish. “That second run wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty close and I felt really good.”
Meanwhile, Canada’s Eric Neilson capped of his rookie season on the World Cup by putting down the run of his life on the Canada Olympic Park track with the second-fastest time of the heat at 56.63. Sitting in 12th spot after the opening heat, the 31-year-old from Kelowna, B.C. catapulted up the standings into sixth place with a two-run time of 1:53.46.
“That was my personal best so I’m very happy,” said Neilson, who had three top-10 finishes with his best showing being a fifth-place result. “That was very sweet redemption after last week, and a great way to end off the World Cup season heading into World Championships. It has been a rollercoaster year with lots of ups and downs, but it’s a long journey, and you have to be patient with it.”
Latvia’s Martins Dukurs won his seventh race of the season to solidify the Overall World Cup title. The Olympic silver medallist clocked a golden time of 1:51.88.
Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov claimed for the silver medal after posting a time of 1:52.56. Germany’s Frank Rommel clocked-in at 1:53.28 for the bronze.
Two other Canadian men also hit the start line. Calgary’s John Fairbairn finished 13th (1:53.90), while Toronto’s Mike Douglas was 18th (1:54.62).
Canadians can catch high-speed Friday’s World Cup bobsleigh action from Canada Olympic Park on Sportsnet at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – VISA, Dow Chemical, Adidas, KBC Helmets, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.
Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1. Elizabeth Yarnold, GBR, 1:55.93; 2. Anja Huber, GER, 1:56.47; T3. Amy Gough, Abbotsford, B.C., CAN, 1:56.57; T3. Shelley Rudman, GBR, 1:56.57; T5. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., CAN, 1:56.70; T5. Lucy Chaffer, AUS, 1:56.70.
Other Canadian Results:
7. Sarah Reid, Calgary, 1:56.71
Top-Five Men’s Skeleton Results:
1. Martins Dukurs, LAT, 1:51.88; 2. Alexander Tretiakov, RUS, 1:52.56; 3. Frank Rommel, GER, 1:53.28; 4. Tomass Dukurs, LAT, 1:53.38; 5. John Daly, USA, 1:53.41.
Other Canadian Results:
13. John Fairbairn, Calgary, 1:53.90; 18. Mike Douglas, Toronto, 1:54.62.