Mellisa Hollingsworth Wins Silver Medal at Skeleton World Cup in Germany

WINTERBERG, Ger.Mellisa Hollingsworth extended her podium streak to four straight races after sliding to the silver medal at a World Cup stop in Winterberg, Germany on Friday.


The 29-year-old Hollingsworth, of Eckville, Alta., rebounded after battling through cold weather and heavy snow on her first run where she sat in fifth spot, to post one of the fastest runs of the second heat, and grab her first silver medal of the season with a two-run time of two minutes 05.22 seconds.


“That silver medal was like a gold for me today because I was standing beside Kerstin (Szymkowiak) on the podium and it is her home track,” said Hollingsworth, who also has a gold and two bronze medals to her credit in the opening four races of the year. “Winterberg is known as a bit of a crap shoot with the changing ice and weather conditions and you could see that today in the times. It can feel like you had a great run and have no time at the bottom, and vice versa, but I’m definitely happy with it today.”


The 2006 Olympic bronze medallist, who won the Overall World Cup that season, will take the yellow leaders bib into the Altenberg World Cup next weekend following the 20th podium finish of her career.


“Things are going really well for me right now, but I do feel like I have a lot to draw on and learn over the next four World Cup races before the Olympics,” added Hollingsworth. “I don’t see this as pressure getting to the podium each week leading to the Olympics. I know the work that is required each week to go out there and do my best, and my goal is to finish number one.”


Germany’s Szymkowiak posted the fastest runs in both heats to clock a combined winning time of 2:04.72. Russia’s Svetlana Trunova grabbed the bronze medal with a time of 2:05.49.


Canada’s Michelle Kelly was poised to strike for her first podium finish of the season after putting down the second-fastest time in the snow-covered first heat at 1:02.37. The 35-year-old, of Fort St. John, B.C., dropped two spots into a tie for fourth spot with Shelley Rudman, of Great Britain at 2:05.54 after a challenging second run on the 1,325-metre Winterberg track.


Amy Gough, of Abbotsford, B.C., was the only other Canadian woman in the field and finished 17th at 2:07.20.


The top men’s skeleton athletes in the world hit the Winterberg track following the women.


Olympic silver medallist, Jeff Pain, led the way for a trio of Canucks after finishing in ninth spot. The 39-year-old Calgarian, who reached the podium last week for the first time of the year when he was third, clocked-in at 2:01.14.


Jon Montgomery, of Russell, Man., who won last week in Cesana, Italy, finished in 12th place at 2:01.41.


Toronto’s Mike Douglas did not qualify for the second run with the top-20 after finishing 22nd at 1:01.09 in his opening heat.


Latvia’s Martins Dukurs continued to dominate the men’s World Cup by winning the gold medal in Winterberg with a time of 1:59.06. Germany’s Frank Rommel slid to the silver-medal position on the podium at 1:59.81, while Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov stole the bronze with a combined time of 1:59.87.


The World Cup continues on Saturday in Winterberg, Germany, with men’s and women’s bobsleigh action.


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Top-Five Women’s Results:

1. Kerstin Szymkowiak, GER, 2:04.72; 2. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., CAN, 2:05.22; 3. Svetlana Trunova, RUS, 2:05.49; T4. Michelle Kelly, Fort St. John, B.C., CAN, 2:05.54; T4. Shelley Rudman, GBR, 2:05.54.

Other Canadian Results:

17. Amy Gough, Abbotsford, B.C., 2:07.20


Top-Five Men’s Results:

1. Martins Dukurs, LAT, 1:59.06; 2. Frank Rommel, GER, 1:59.81; 3. Alexander Tretiakov, RUS, 1:59.87; 4. Tomass Dukurs, LAT, 1:59.98; 5. Michi Haliloc, GER, 2:00.08.

Canadian Results:

9. Jeff Pain, Calgary, 2:01.14; 12. Jon Montgomery, 2:01.41; 22. Mike Douglas, Toronto, 1:01.09 (DNQ for second run)