Mirela Rahneva Locked in Fourth at Skeleton World Cup in Austria
IGLS, Aut.—Canada’s Mirela Rahneva slid to a fourth-place tie at the penultimate skeleton World Cup race of the season on Friday in Igls, Austria.
Coming off her first career World Championship podium, the two-time Olympian finished deadlocked at 1:46.70 with Austrian hero, Janine Flock, following their two blasts down the 1,478-metre track.
“I’m a bit upset at myself. I have lots of fourth place finishes in my career,” said Rahneva. “Training was going well, and I thought I could get on podium but that is the draw and excitement of sport. The learning moment for me is to take that relaxed feeling from training into race day.”
It was the best result in five years on the relatively flat track for the 34-year-old Rahneva. Two of her 13 career World Cup podiums have come on the 14-corner chute – both coming during the 2017 calendar year.
“Precision is important here. You have to do the right amount at the right time. If you over steer that’s when you skid or tap the wall. There is lots of work to be done on this track but it is so subtle, so you have to be very precise.”
Kimberley Bos, of The Netherlands, stole the gold medal on Friday with a sizzling final run time of 52.87 for a new track record, and a two-run total of 1:46.35.
Taking the lead at the midway point of the race after originally setting the track record, Hallie Clark of the United States held on for the silver medal at 1:46.63. Belgium’s Kim Meylemans clocked-in at 1:46.68 for the bronze.
Clocking top-three start times in both heats, North Vancouver’s Jane Channell rebounded after a difficult first run. The two-time Olympian clawed her way back into 14th (1:47.09) after throwing down the fifth-fastest second run time.
Mirela Rahneva sits in third place in the overall World Cup standings with 1,339 points thanks to consistent results this season, including a victory in Park City, a silver medal in Winterberg, and three straight fourth-place finishes. Jane Channell is in eighth spot with 922 points.
“Sigulda is not one of my strong suits, but neither was Altenberg. Having our coach Joe (Cecchini) with us this year has helped on changing the narratives on those tracks. I hope the entire team can change the narrative in Sigulda together like we have done on other tracks this year.”
German’s Tina Hermann leads the way with 1,397 points.
Calgary’s Blake Enzie was the lone Canadian in the men’s race. The 2022 Olympian posted a two-run time of 1:45.22 for 19th place.
The men’s race was won by Matt Weston with a time of 1:42.96. Korea’s Seunggi Jung slid to the silver medal at 1:43.32, while China’s Wenhao Chen snagged the bronze at 1:43.45.
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 – Karbon and Joe Rocket Canada – along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.