Canada’s Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown Slide to Fourth Spot at Bobsleigh World Cup
LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—Canada’s Helen Upperton and brakeman Shelley-Ann Brown narrowly missed the podium in the women’s World Cup bobsleigh race at Lake Placid, N.Y. on Friday.
Holding a late start position, Calgary’s 31-year-old Upperton, along with 30-year-old Brown of Pickering, Ont., drove the Canada 2 sled to fourth spot after clocking a two-run time of one minute, 54.72 seconds (1:54.72) down the 20-corner track in Lake Placid.
“We started so far back, and this is a track that deteriorates so much as you go along,” said Upperton, who added Friday was a make-up event for last week’s race which was cancelled in Park City due to heavy snowfall. “Considering our start position and the injuries we have been nursing, it was a pretty good day.”
Upperton and Brown, who won a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games together, continue to battle for the podium while fighting through a series of injuries sustained from crashes during training runs this season. The Canadian duo missed the Whistler race after crashing twice in training which separated Upperton’s shoulder and bruised Brown’s ribs. They were back in the sled in Calgary where they won the bronze medal. The two Canucks crashed again yesterday in training while preparing for Friday’s race in Lake Placid.
“Missing the podium is still frustrating. The podium is always the goal,” said Upperton. “It is pretty amazing because our push times are great even though Shelley is sore and bruised. It always takes a second to regain your confidence after a spill so it made it more difficult in my first run today because I crashed yesterday. My second run was better than my first so we’ll use that momentum to get us ready for tomorrow.”
Canada’s Olympic gold medallist, Kaillie Humphries of Calgary, teamed up with World Cup rookie – Heather Hughes of Edmonton – to finish in eighth spot. Humphries piloted the Canada 1 sled to a combined time of 1:55.40.
Two rookies on Canada’s national squad – Edmonton’s Mellisa These and Diane Kelly, of Chatham, Ont., teamed up in the Canada 3 sled to finish 13th at 1:56.49.
Germany grabbed two of three spots on the podium. Sandra Kiriasis and Berit Wiacker posted a winning time of 1:53.94. Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming used home track advantage to claim the silver medal with a time of 1:54.31, while Germany’s Cathleen Martini and Kristin Steinert locked up the bronze medal at 1:54.58.
The World Cup continues on Saturday in Lake Placid with the second women’s race and men’s two-man event.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners - VISA, Dow Chemical, Adidas, Schenker Canada - along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca .
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Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results:
1. Kiriasis/Wiacker, GER 1, 1:53.94; 2. Rohbock/Fleming, USA 1, 1:54.31; 3. Martini/Steinert, GER 2, 1:54.58; 4. Upperton, Calgary/Brown, Pickering, Ont., CAN 2, 1:54.72; 5. Schaaf/Azevedo, USA 2, 1:54.96.
Other Canadian Results:
8. Humphries, Calgary/Hughes, Edmonton, 1:55.40; 13. These, Calgary/Kelly, Chatham, Ont., 1:56.49