February 12, 2009

PARK CITY, UTAH—Canada’s Mellisa Hollingsworth celebrated the one year countdown to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games by winning a bronze medal at the final World Cup skeleton race of the season in Park City, Utah on Thursday.


Sitting in sixth spot heading into the second run, the Olympic bronze medallist posted the fastest run of the final heat before heavy snow began pouring down on the track at Utah Olympic Park. It was Hollingsworth’s fourth podium finish of the season after clocking a third-place time of one minute 41.62 seconds.


“I am definitely happy because I was able to move up <the standings>after my first run,” said Hollingsworth. “I seem to have had good runs in the first heat and struggled to hang on in the second run, but I think yesterday was a breakthrough to fix that problem.”


The 28-year-old from Eckville, Alta., who won the third World Cup race of her career on Wednesday, also slid to the bronze in Winterberg, Germany, and the silver medal position in St. Moritz, Switzerland earlier this season.


“For sure there have been lots of ups and downs this season,” said Hollingsworth, who was forced to miss a World Cup race for the first time in her 13-year career with the flu prior to the holiday break. “But I am happy to come away with these podiums late in the season, especially going into Worlds <Championships>.”


The World Championships is the final piece of business for Hollingsworth to deal with before calling it a season. Canada’s most decorated skeleton athlete will be looking to cap off the competitive calendar with one more strong finish at the biggest event on the 2009 campaign in Lake Placid, N.Y., February 16 – March 1.


“I think it is going to be a great building race heading into Vancouver,” said Hollingsworth. “I’m excited to see what can happen over four heats.”


The Germans served notice they are ready to fight for Olympic gold in one year. Marion Trott solidified the Overall World Cup title by winning gold in Park City with a time of 1:41.28. Katie Uhlaender, of the United States, slid to the podium for the first time of the year after chalking up a silver-medal winning time of 1:41.59.


In the men’s race it was Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov who completed the golden sweep in Utah. Tretiakov clocked a winning time of 1:39.33 for the second consecutive day. Germany also stole the final two spots on the men’s podium. Florian Grassl was second (1:39.40), while Frank Rommel grabbed the bronze at 1:39.56.


Calgary’s Jeff Pain was the top Canadian in sixth spot for the second straight day after posting a time of 1:39.73.


Other Canadian results included: Michelle Kelly, of Fort St. John, B.C., in 10th (1:42.38); and Sarah Reid, of Calgary, in 14th (1:42.95) in the women’s race; while Jon Montgomery, of Russell, Man., was 13th (1:40.29), and Calgary’s Keith Loach was 14th (1:40.30) in the men’s competition.


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Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:

1. Marion Trott, GER, 1:41.28; 2. Katie Uhlaender, USA, 1:41.59; 3. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., CAN, 1:41.62; 4. Amy Williams, GBR, 1:41.72; 5. Anja Huber, GER, 1:41.73.

Other Canadian Results:

10. Michelle Kelly, Fort St. John, B.C, 1:42.38; 14. Sarah Reid, Calgary, 1:42.95.


Top-Five Men’s Skeleton Results:

1. Alexander Tretiakov, RUS, 1:39.33; 2. Florian Grassl, GER, 1:39.40; 3. Frank Rommel, GER, 1:39.56; 4. Zach Lund, USA, 1:39.58; 5. Eric Bernotas, USA, 1:39.68.

Canadian Results:

6. Jeff Pain, Calgary, 1:39.73; 13. Jon Montgomery, Russell, Man., 1:40.29; 14. Keith Loach, Calgary, 1:40.30.

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