Canadian Skeleton Athletes Struggle to Find Podium at World Cup in Lake Placid
LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—Canada’s Mellisa Hollingsworth continued the fight to get back onto the World Cup podium after a fifth-place finish at the final skeleton World Cup race before the holiday break in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Friday morning.
The 30-year-old Hollingsworth, who was in the lead after the first heat when she posted a time of 55.86, had a difficult week of training on one of the most challenging tracks in the world especially on the opening corner. The struggles carried into her final trip down the track where she slipped to fifth spot with a combined time of one minute 52.54 seconds after making mistakes in the first corner, along with corner 12 and 13.
“I made little mistakes that cost me a lot of time today,” said Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta., who won the Lake Placid stop on the World Cup last year. “This sport is about feeling on the sled. I felt snappy and great heading into that second run, but it comes down to hundredths of a second. When you make a mistake at the top, it compiles down at the bottom and that is the difference.”
The 2010 overall World Cup champion has had some tough luck in finding her way back to the World Cup podium since winning the silver medal at the season-opener in Whistler, B.C. Battling a bruised bone in her foot which has affected her push start, Hollingsworth finished fourth the last two weeks in Calgary and Park City prior to the fifth-place finish today to wrap up the North American stint on the World Cup circuit.
“I really think the only way my foot will get better is to be off it, which will happen in the summer,” said Hollingsworth. “I’ve shown that I’m still capable of it (being on the podium), but I’m just not putting it together. The goal this year is not the overall World Cup title – it is the World Championships. It is not too late, and hopefully I’ll be able to get some rest and figure it out.”
Germany’s Marion Thees won the gold medal in the women’s race with a time of 1:51.95. Shelley Rudman, of Great Britain, locked up the silver medal after clocking-in at 1:52.28, while Germany’s Anja Huber was third (1:52.48).
The two other Canadian women slipped out of the top-10 for the first time this year. Amy Gough, of Abbotsford, B.C., who finished third the last two weeks, was 12th at 1:53.38. Calgary’s Sarah Reid placed 13th at 1:53.68.
The Canadian men also struggled in Lake Placid. Toronto’s Mike Douglas finished as the top Canuck in 11th spot after posting a two-run time of 1:49.56 on the challenging Lake Placid track. Olympic gold medallist, Jon Montgomery of Russell, Man., was 14th (1:49.90), while Calgary’s John Fairbairn was 16th at 1:50.11.
Russia’s Sergei Chudiinov finished on top at 1:48.51, while Latvia’s Martins Dukurs grabbed the silver with a time of 1:48.55 and Kristan Bromley, of Great Britain, was third (1:48.74).
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Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1. Marion Thees, GER, 1:51.95; 2. Shelley Rudman, GBR, 1:52.28; 3. Anja Huber, GER, 1:52.48; 4. Nozomi Komuro, JPN, 1:52.49; 5. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., CAN, 1:52.54.
Other Canadian Results:
12. Amy Gough, Abbotsford, B.C., 1:53.38; 13. Sarah Reid, Calgary, 1:53.68
Top-Five Men’s Skeleton Results:
1. Sergei Chudinov, RUS, 1:48.51; 2. Martins Dukurs, LAT, 1:48.55; 3. Kristan Bromley, GBR, 1:48.74; 4. Matthew Antoine, USA, 1:49.05; 5. Frank Rommel, GER, 1:49.12.
11. Mike Douglas, Toronto, 1:49.56; 14. Jon Montgomery, Russell, Man., 1:49.90; 16. John Fairbairn, Calgary, 1:50.11.