Canada’s Mellisa Hollingsworth Wins Bronze Medal at Skeleton World Championships
February 26, 2011
KONIGSSEE, Ger.—MellisaHollingsworth capped off the post-Olympic season by winning the bronze medal atthe skeleton World Championships in Konigssee, Germany on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Hollingsworth put down the thirdfastest time of the opening heat, and held onto her position for the next threeruns staged over two days, to slide onto the World Championship podium for justthe second time of her illustrious career after clocking a time of 3:29.74. Theonly other World Championship podium result for the 2006 Olympic bronzemedallist came in 2000 in Igls, Austria.
“I am super happy. I did my work, maintained myfocus and I got the job done. It is such a tricky track. You have to be bang onor there are severe consequences,” said Hollingsworth, who had her fastest timeon the final trip down the track. “Shelley <Rudman> was putting a lot ofpressure on me, and that was a really good test in where I have struggled inthe past <holding onto the podium position in the final run>. This is myfirst World Championship medal in 11 years so it is nice to have thatbreakthrough.”
Hollingsworth joined two German athletes on thepodium. Marion Thees captured the World Championship title with a time of3:28.51, while Anja Huber slid to the silver medal at 3:29.39.
The World Championships put a sweet ending to adifficult season for Hollingsworth, who also helped Canada win a bronze medalin the team event last weekend. Battling a nagging foot injury all season whichprevented her from regular training, Hollingsworth mustered two silvers and abronze-medal finish on the World Cup in 2010-11 where she finished thirdoverall.
“I went an entire season without being able tosprint, and considering I’m a sprinter, that is tough to deal with,” saidHollingsworth, who said the injury prevented her from having her top fitnessall season. “Considering the circumstances, I am really happy with this year.”
Two other Canadian women also finished in thetop-10. Amy Gough, of Abbotsford, B.C., finished seventh at 3:30.99, while Calgary’sDarla Deschamps placed eighth at 3:31.21. Canada was given an additional spotin the World Championships thanks to Robynne Thompson’s victory earlier thismonth at the World Junior Skeleton Championships. The 19-year-old Calgariantook full advantage of the opportunity, posting an impressive 11th-place finishwith a four-run time of 3:33.14.
The world’s best men wrapped up their four-runrace on Friday. Olympic gold medallist, Jon Montgomery, led the way for Canadawith an 11th-place finish. The Russell, Man. native finished with a time of3:27.66.
“It was not a great race, but I feel I could havebeen at least five places higher with one more decent exit out of the Krieselcorner,” said Montgomery, who got too high in the corner on his third run downthe track. “I was within inches of having a great line, but I was was notplaying it conservative. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes you pay the price,and this time I paid dearly.”
Latvia’s Martins Dukers won the men’s race with atime of 3:23.70. Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov grabbed the silver at 3:25.44,while Germany’s Frank Rommel slid to the bronze with a time of 3:25.68.
Toronto’s Mike Douglas finished 13th at 3:28.07,while Calgary’s John Fairbairn wrapped up his rookie season with a 15th-placeresult (3:28.42).
The World Championships wrap up on Sunday inKonigssee, Germany with the final two runs of the men’s four-man race.
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Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1. Marion Thees, GER, 3:28.51; 2. Anja Huber,GER, 3:29.39; 3. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., CAN, 3:29.74; 4.Shelley Rudman, GBR, 3:30.05; 5. Olga Potelitcina, RUS, 3:30.70.
Other Canadian Results:
7. Amy Gough, Abbotsford, B.C., 3:30.99; 8. DarlaDeschamps, Calgary, 3:31.21; 11. Robynne Thompson, Calgary, 3:33.14
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Martins Dukurs, LAT, 3:23.70; 2. AlexanderTretiakov, RUS, 3:25.44; 3. Frank Rommel, GER, 3:25.68; 4. Sandro Stielicke,GER, 3:25.98; 5. Michi Halilovic, GER, 3:25.99.
11. Jon Montgomery, Russell, Man., 3:27.66; 13.Mike Douglas, Toronto, 3:28.07; 15. Jon Fairbairn, Calgary, 3:28.42.