Sarah Reid Bombs to Bronze at Skeleton World Cup

—John Fairbairn matches career-best result in eighth place—


PARK CITY, Utah—Canada’s Sarah Reid rocketed her way back to the podium for the first time this year, winning the bronze in World Cup skeleton action on Friday in Park City, Utah.

The 26-year-old, who booked her ticket to compete in her first Olympic Winter Games last week on her home track in Calgary with a sixth-place finish, slid to the bronze medal with a two-run time of one minute, 40.60 seconds (1:40.60).

“I had good training leading into the race and things went good today so I’m happy with it,” said Reid. “Calgary didn’t go as well as I would have liked, but to get that last Olympic qualifier last week I feel like I was able to relax and really focus on a solid race. It gave me extra motivation for sure to continue pushing for the podium.”

It was the sixth medal of the pint-sized Canucks career.

Reid stormed into the Olympic year after coming off a medal-winning season where she captured one gold, two silver and two bronze medals including a third-place finish at the 2013 World Championships.

“Things are different now. I used to kind of have a goal of being in the top-six, but now I definitely go into races to be in that top three every time,” said Reid. “I know what if feels like to be on the podium and I want to be there each week.”

Reid was joined on the podium by American Noelle Pikus-Pace who slid to the gold with a time of 1:39.54. Pikus-Pace had won the season-opener in Calgary last week, but was disqualified for using an illegal sled. Elizabeth Yarnold, of Great Britain, was second at 1:40.22.

Two other Canucks hit the start line in the women’s race. World Cup rookie, Robynne Thompson of Calgary, was 10th at 1:41.08. Cassie Hawrysh, of Brandon, Man., placed 11th at 1:41.13.

Earlier in the day Calgary’s John Fairbairn matched his career-best result on the World Cup, and had his best finish outside of Canada, with an eighth-place result. In search of top-six finishes to secure a spot at the 2014 Games, the 29-year-old Calgary-based engineer sat in sixth spot after his first descent down the short, yet lightening-quick, track. Fairbairn settled for a time of 1:38.29.

Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov won his first race of the season with a time of 1:37.59. Latvia’s Martins Dukurs was second at 1:37.71, while Matthew Anotine, of the United Sates, locked up the bronze medal with a time of 1:37.73.

Eric Neilson, of Kelowna, B.C., slid into 12th spot at 1:38.59, while Dave Greszczyszyn, of Brampton, Ont., was 20th (1:39.13).

Canada’s skeleton athletes now travel to Lake Placid, N.Y., for the final World Cup stop next weekend prior to the holiday break.

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Complete Results:

Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:

1. Noelle Pikus-Pace, USA, 1:39.54; 2. Elizabeth Yarnold, GBR, 1:40.22; 3. Sarah Reid, Calgary, CAN, 1:40.60; 4. Shelley Rudman, GBR, 1:40.74; 5. Michelle Steele, AUS, 1:40.75.

Other Canadian Results:

10. Robynne Thompson, Calgary, 1:41.08; 11. Cassie Hawrysh, Brandon, Man., 1:41.13


Top-Five Men’s Skeleton Results:

1. Alexander Tretiakov, RUS, 1:37.59; 2. Martins Dukurs, LAT, 1:37.71; 3. Matthew Antoine, USA, 1:37.73; 4. Sergei Chudinov, RUS, 1:37.80; 5. Frank Rommel, GER, 1:37.92

Other Canadian Results:

8. John Fairbairn, Calgary, 1:38.29; 12. Eric Neilson, Calgary, 1:38.59; 20. Dave Greszczyszyn, Brampton, Ont., 1:39.13.