Amy Gough Wins Gold at Skeleton World Cup
WINTERBERG, Ger.—Canada’s Amy Gough won her first ever World Cup skeleton race on Saturday in Winterberg, Germany.
Fighting through a challenging week both on and off the track, the 34-year-old Gough, of Abbotsford, B.C., pulled herself together to put down the race of her life and clock a winning time of 1:00.16.
“It has been a rough week so this feels really good,” said Gough. “It has taken me a long time to get here, but my training went really well this summer and I’m the strongest that I have ever been. Just because I’m older, I think this shows you can’t kick me out yet.”
Since making her Olympic debut in 2010, Gough had the season of her life last year where she won three bronze medals on the World Cup. She also has a silver medal finish to her credit in her three full years on the World Cup.
“I have been doing lots of work with a woman by the name of Patricia Maxwell who has been giving me lots of perspective,” said the composed Gough. “I feel really privileged to do what I really enjoy doing and I think that helped me today. This <victory> tells me I know I have what it takes to be a winner and I’m proud of that.”
Gough was joined on the podium by two German athletes. Katharina Heinz finished in second spot at 1:00.24, while Marion Thees slid to the bronze medal with a time of 1:00.26 in a new race format that was tested by the FIBT. The goal was for the world’s best skeleton athletes to take two runs on Friday with the top-10 athletes doing a one-run bomb for the medals between the men’s and women’s bobsleigh races on Saturday in an effort to gain more exposure for the sport. But heavy snow forced the cancellation of one run Friday.
Amy Gough’s victory coincidentally comes one day after the historic golden luge run of Canada’s Alex Gough back home in Calgary. The Golden Gough sliding sport athletes are not related.
“I had to tell the announcer today that we weren’t sisters,” laughed Amy Gough. “That is awesome that Alex won. The Gough name is definitely out there this weekend.”
Calgary’s Sarah Reid finished eighth at 1:00.87, while Mellisa Hollingsworth, of Eckville, Alta., was 13th and did not qualify for the second run.
The Canadian trail continued with World Cup rookie, Eric Neilson, chalking up his best-ever World Cup finish in fifth place in the men’s race. The Victoria native clocked a time of 59:21. Toronto’s Mike Douglas finished ninth at 59:43, while Calgary’s John Fairbairn did not qualify for the final run in 17th.
Latvia’s Martins Dukurs won his third straight men’s race with a time of 57:90. Germany’s Frank Rommel was second at 58:22, while Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov grabbed the bronze medal at 58:29.
Three of Canada’s four bobsleighs also made their way into the top-10.
Canada’s dynamic duo of Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden finished in sixth spot in the men’s two-man race with a time of 1:53.59. Calgarians Chris Spring and Derek Plug teamed up in the Canada 2 sled to place ninth at 1:53.77.
Germany’s Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske won the men’s race with a time of 1:52.98.
Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries and Emily Baadsvik, of St. Stephen, N.B., were the final sled to squeak into the top-10 in women’s racing. The gold-medal winners last weekend stopped the clock at 1:57.75.
Edmonton’s Jenny Ciochetti teamed up with Calgary’s Kate O’Brien to finish 11th in their debut on the World Cup. The two rookies punched a time of 1:57.95 in the Canada 2 sled.
Germany’s Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer won the women’s race with a time of 1:56.32 in the Germany 2 sled.
The World Cup wraps up on Sunday in Winterberg, Germany with the men’s four-man bobsleigh race.
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 – VISA, Dow Chemical, Adidas, KBC Helmets, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, Therapeutica – 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.
Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results
1. Amy Gough, Abbotsford, B.C., 1:00.16; 2. Katharina Heinz, GER, 1:00.24; 3. Marion Thees, GER, 1:00.26; 4. Olga Potylitsina, RUS, 1:00.48; 5. Katie Uhlaender, USA, 1:00.50.
8. Sarah Reid, Calgary, 1:00.87; 13. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., DNQ
Top-Five Men’s Skeleton Results:
1.Martins Dukurs, LAT, 57.90; 2. Frank Rommel, GER, 58:22; 3. Alexander Tretiakov, RUS, 58:29; 4. Kristan Bromley, GBR, 58:89; 5. Eric Neilson, Victoria, CAN, 59:21.
9. Mike Douglas, Toronto, 59:43; 17. John Fairbairn, Calgary, DNQ
Top-Five Men’s Bobsleigh Results:
1.Thomas Florschuetz/Kevin Kuske, GER 1, 1:52.98; 2. Beat Hefti/Thomas Lamparter, SUI 1, 1:53.72; 3. Oskars Melbardis/Daumants Dreiskens, LAT1 , 1:53.43; 4. Maxmillian Arndt/Martin Putze, GER 2, 1:53.52; 5. Edwin van Calker/Sybren Jansma, NED 1, 1:53.56;
6. Lyndon Rush, Humboldt, Sask., Jesse Lumsden, Burlington, Ont., CAN 1, 1:53.59; 9. Chris Spring, Calgary/Derek Plug, Calgary, CAN 2, 1:53.77
Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results:
1.Cathleen Martini/Janine Tischer, GER 2, 1:56.32; 2. Anja Schneiderheinze/Lisette Thone, GER 3, 1:56.60; 3. Fabienne Meyer/Hanne Schenk, SUI 1, 1:56.73; 4. Elana Meyers/Katie Eberling, USA 1, 1:56.85; 5. Christina Hengster/Inga Versen, AUT 1, 1:56.93
10. Kaillie Humphries, Calgary/Emily Baadsvik, St. Stephen, N.B., CAN 1, 1:55.75; 11. Jenny Ciochetti, Edmonton/Kate O’Brien, Calgary, CAN 2, 1:57.95.