Lyndon Rush and Lascelles Brown Win First-Ever Two-Man Bobsleigh World Cup Race
January 16, 2010
ST. MORITZ, Sui.—Lyndon Rush overcame all odds to pilot his Canada 1 two-man bobsleigh to its first-ever World Cup victory at the birthplace of his sport in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Saturday.
Rush of Humboldt, Sask., who has enjoyed a breakthrough season with Calgary brakeman Lascelles Brown, was awake all night battling a stomach flu. If that wasn’t enough, the 29-year-old Rush had a World Cup date with a track he has had little success with as a pilot in his four-year career.
But Rush drew on his faith to lead him to a tie for his first World Cup two-man victory after posting a combined time of two minutes 12.34 seconds. Rush and Brown finished in a dead-heat with Germany’s Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.
“Lascelles <Brown> was obviously a man possessed with something today because I have no idea how we were able to push. I had nothing in the warm-up,” said Rush, a religious person who leads a team in prayer before each race. “Today I just said ‘God give me strength because I got nothing and it was pretty cool how it worked out.”
Edwin van Calker and Sybren Jansma, of the Netherlands, finished third at 2:12.48.
With the 35-year-old Brown on his brakes, Rush has also been a man on a mission for the podium this year. The former football player with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies won two World Cup medals in four-man races earlier this year including a gold in Park City and bronze in Cesana, Italy. With his best two-man finish being a fourth-place result at the Whistler Sliding Centre one year ago, Rush has been flirting with the two-man podium as well in 2009-10 with two fifth-place finishes.
“I knew we could it because we had three really good races on German tracks,” said Rush. “The Germans are so strong on their home tracks so it was nice to get out of Germany and not only get my first win here, but gain three more places in my start position at the Olympics. I’m now sixth overall and I think that is even more important for me right now.”
Rush couldn’t have picked a better place to win his first World Cup two-man race than the birthplace of his sport in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The host track of the 1928 and 1948 Olympic Winter Games, the only natural track in the world winds itself 1,722-metres down the Swiss mountain through tall pines, and ends in a town filled with crazed fans for the sliding sports.
“It is so neat here and you just feel so privileged to slide here,” said Rush. “It is such a long track and I have never had success here because of its length. I feel you need good equipment to do well here. I got it the equipment this year and boom we are on the podium.”
Rush made his plea for new equipment last spring. With support flooding in from a variety of sponsors and supporters in the sport industry and corporate Canada, Rush purchased new two- and four-man sleds, which has resulted in immediate success.
Canada’s Edmonton duo of Pierre Lueders and Jesse Lumsden finished ninth in the Canada 2 sled with a time of 2:12.80.
Another Canadian duo who has vaulted to the top of the international bobsleigh standings this year is Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, of Summerside, P.E.I. The Canucks finished off the podium for the first time in three women’s races, placing fourth with a time of 2:15.30.
The Germans swept the women’s race. Cathleen Martini and Romy Logsch won the gold with a time of 2:14.89. Sandra Kiriasis and Christin Senkel were second at 2:14.90, while Claudia Schramm and Berit Wiacker completed the sweep with a time of 2:15.07.
Calgary’s Helen Upperton and Edmonton’s Jenny Ciochetti teamed up in the Canada 2 sled to finish ninth at 2:16.34. Calgary’s Amanda Stepenko and Shelley-Ann Brown, of Pickering, Ont., finished 15th in Canada 3 at 2:17.49.
The World Cup wraps up in St. Moritz on Sunday with the men’s four-man race.
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:
T1. Lyndon Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Lascelles Brown, Calgary, CAN 1, 2:12.34; T1. Andre Lange/Kevin Kuske, GER 1, 2:12.34; 3. Edwin van Calker/Sybren Jansma, NED 1, 2:12.48; 4. Karl Angere/Alex Mann, GER 3, 2:12.54; 5. Daniel Schmid/Juerg Egger, SUI 3, 2:12.55.
Other Canadian Results:
9. Pierre Lueders, Edmonton/Jesse Lumsden, Edmonton, CAN 2, 2:12.80
Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results:
1. Cathleen Martini/Romy Logsch, GER 2, 2:14.89; 2. Sandra Kiriasis/Christin Senkel, GER 1, 2:14.90; 3. Claudia Schramm/Berit Wiacker, GER 3, 2:15.07; 4. Kaillie Humprhries, Calgary/Heather Moyse, Summerside, P.E.I., CAN 1, 2:15.30; 5. Shauna Rohbock/Michelle Rzepka, USA 1, 2:15.57.
Other Canadian Results:
9. Helen Upperton, Calgary/Jenny Ciochetti, Edmonton, CAN 2, 2:16.34; 15. Amanda Stepenko, Calgary/Shelley-Ann Brown, Pickering, Ont., CAN 3, 2:17.49