Canada’s Dave Greszczyszyn and Elisabeth Maier Slide into New Year in 11th at World Cup in Germany
ALTENBERG, Ger.—Dave Greszczyszyn and Elisabeth Maier led the Canadian skeleton squad with 11th place finishes on a tricky track in Altenberg, Germany on Friday.
Greszcyzyszyn, of Brampton, Ont., clocked an 11th-place time of 1:56.97 in the men’s race. Calgary’s Maier, who has one podium to her credit this year, also finished one spot out of the top-10 at 2:00.25.
It was the best result of the season for the 39-year-old Greszczyszyn who became a new father over the holidays. His career-best finish on the highly-technical 1,413-metre Altenberg track came last year when he was 10th.
“I was pretty happy with the overall race, however, we’re always looking to find those hundredths and tenths of a second down the track. I was happy to be home at Christmas and be with my wife as she delivered our first baby girl. It’s brought new energy to me and another person to compete for,” said Greszczyszyn.
“Both runs were pretty solid. I started to feel this track and understand it more than previous years. I’ve learned to relax more and trust lines in the key corners. It helps carry the speed down the track.
Nicknamed “The Grizz,” the 2018 Olympian was in 12th place after his first blast down the track but grabbed one more spot in the standings after posting the seventh-fastest, second-run down time at 58.33.
“I did pull the third fastest bottom speed, combined with the seventh fastest down time in the second run so I’ll take that as a win, and it will help my confidence moving into the rest of the season,” said Greszczyszyn.
“The field is so deep so anytime you’re in the top-10 is a good race. I do like Altenberg and continue to build my confidence here. There are key corners that can sneak up on anyone, even those who slide here often.”
Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov won the men’s race with a time of 1:55.09. Korea’s Sungbin Yun slid to the silver at 1:55.66, while Nikita Tregubov, also of Russia, locked up the bronze medal at 1:55.93.
Kevin Boyer, of Sherwood Park, Alta., was the only other Canadian in the men’s race. Boyer did not qualify for the second run with the top-20 sliders, placing 24th.
Earlier in the day, the fastest women on ice took to the start block in Altenberg.
Calgary’s Elisabeth Maier (formerly Vathje) was content with an 11th-place finish following a challenging week of training. The 2018 Olympian clocked a combined time of 2:00.25.
“I trained terribly so based on that the result is decent,” said Maier. “I struggled to get curve four and Kriesel both in one run – today I had terrible fours and good Kriesels. “This is all prep for next year’s World Championships in Altenberg. I learned a lot towards that. I do love this track, but just need a bit more time for it to love me back.”
Maier posted the 10th-fastest down time in the opening run but dropped one spot in the standings with the snow falling, which made conditions challenging for all athletes.
“Altenberg is tricky, but they run an amazing race here and take such great pride in their track similarly to Whistler. They love their track and they love to see people go fast on it regardless of what nation you are from,” added Maier. “My confidence is shot a bit for many reasons. I just have to remind myself that I can podium and have this year. Tobogganing is fun, and I just need to remember that when it gets hard.”
Ottawa’s Mirela Rahneva finished three spots behind Maier in 14th at 2:00.56. North Vancouver’s Jane Channell slid to 19th place with a two-run time of 2:01.82.
Russia’s Elena Nikitina won the women’s race with a time of 1:57.42. Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling won the silver medal with a time of 1:57.79, while Russia’s Yulia Kanakina claimed the bronze medal at 1:58.39.
Complete Men’s Skeleton Results: https://www.ibsf.org/en/component/events/event/193037
Complete Women’s Skeleton Results: https://www.ibsf.org/en/component/events/event/193038
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 – Karbon, Driving Force, Calgary Stampede, Conceptum Sport Logistics and Joe Rocket Canada – along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee. Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.