Canada’s Helen Upperton and Heather Moyse Reunite on Top of Podium at World Cup in AustriaIGLS, Aut.—Helen Upperton piloted the Canada 1 sled to its second World Cup victory of the season – this time with Olympic teammate Heather Moyse on her brakes in Igls, Austria.
Calgary’s Upperton and Moyse, of Summerside, PE.I., powered their way to the top of the podium after clocking the fastest runs in both heats at 54.61 and 54.46 for a combined time of one minute 49.07 seconds.
“I was pretty good in training all week and I thought I would be in the mix today,” said the relaxed 29-year-old Upperton after winning the fifth World Cup race in her sixth season as the pilot of Canada 1. “Igls is always a close race because it is a short track which makes the start so important.”
Thankfully, Upperton has two of the world’s top brakewomen – Heather Moyse and Jenny Ciochetti – alternating time in her sled, who continue to post some of the fastest start times each week. Upperton reunited with Moyse to win their first World Cup gold medal together since the Olympic year.
“Canada has such a strong group of girls pushing that it doesn’t matter who is in our sled,” said Upperton following the podium ceremony. “Not only are they incredible athletes, but they are all great people and wonderful teammates so it is a non-issue as to who is competing each week because we all want to win together.”
While Upperton won gold in the season-opener in Winterberg, Germany with Edmonton’s Ciochetti, the gold medal on Friday was a sweet return to the Canada 1 sled for the 30-year-old Moyse, who has been battling a shoulder injury over the last year.
“Coming back with a gold medal is definitely a mental relief for me,” said Moyse, who finished fourth with Upperton at the 2006 Olympics, and is also an all-star rugby player on Canada’s World Cup team. “To know we were strong at the starts, with the second and third-fastest times, and to see that Helen and I still have chemistry together was very important for me today because it has been such a frustrating injury. The starts were good and Helen drove like a champion.”
The Canadian duo were joined on the podium by Shuana Rohbuck and Valerie Fleming, of the United States, who finished second at 1:49.21, while two-time Olympic medallist, Sandra Kiriasis teamed up with Romy Logsch to finish third in the Germany 1 sled at 1:49.23.
Two other Canadian sleds also hit the start line in Austria. Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries and Shelley-Ann Brown, of Pickering, Ont., drove the Canada 2 sled to a seventh-place finish at 1:49.80, while Lisa Szabon, of Nanton, Alta., and Amanda Moreley, of Surrey, B.C., finished 13th (1:50.90).
The Canadian women are hungry to get back on the start line next week in Cesana, Italy. While Upperton narrowly missed the Olympic podium in 2006 with Moyse on the technical track, she did slide to gold in Cesana last year on the World Cup with Ciochetti in her sled.
Canada’s women’s skeleton athletes will also be returning to the 2006 Olympic Track next week, and looking to rebound after a tough outing in Igls, Austria on Friday.While many athletes strive for top-10 finishes, Canada’s’ skeleton athletes constantly strive to get on the podium.
Mellisa Hollingsworth, who won bronze at the Olympics in Italy, finished ninth in World Cup racing today to lead the Canadians. Hollingsworth, of Eckville, Alta., posted a two-run time of 1:50.55 in her first week back to the World Cup after missing the Altenberg, Gremany race with the flu. Michelle Kelly, of Fort St. John, B.C. was 10th at 1:50.59, while Calgary’s Sarah Reid was 20th (1:51.96).
Shelley Rudman, of Great Britain, won the women’s race with a time of 1:49.75.
The Canadian men’s skeleton and two-man bobsleigh athletes will hit the start line on Saturday in Igls, Austria.
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Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results: complete results www.fibt.com <http://www.fibt.com/>
1.Helen Upperton, Calgary, and Heather Moyse, Summerside, P.E.I., CAN 1, 1:49.07; 2. Shauna Rohbuck and Valerie Fleming, USA 1, 1:49.21; 3. Sandra Kiriasis and Romy Logsch, GER 1, 1:49.23; 4. Erin Pac and Elana Meyers, USA 2, 1:49.27; 5. Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer, GER 2, 1:49.57.
Other Canadian Women’s Results:
7. Kaillie Humphries, Calgary, and Shelley-Ann Brown, Pickering, Ont., 1:49.80; 13. Lisa Szabon, Nanton, Alta., and Amanda Moreley, Surrey, B.C., 1:50.90
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1. Shelley Rudman, GBR, 1:49.75; 2. Kerstin Szymkowiak, GER, 1:49.83; 3. Svetlana Trunova, RUS, 1:50.00; 4. Amy Williams, GBR, 1:50.06; 5. Katie Uhlaender, USA, 1:50.21.
9. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., 1:50.55; 10. Michelle Kelly, Fort St. John, B.C., 1:50.59; 20. Sarah Reid, Calgary, 1:51.96
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