Jane Channell Leads Canadian Skeleton Athletes in Eighth on World Cup

Channell moves into fifth in overall standings, Mirela Rahneva sixth, Hallie Clark in eighth after top-10 finish

LA PLAGNE, Fra.—Jane Channell threw down one of her best results in the last two years to lead two Canadian skeleton women into the top-10 on Friday in La Plagne, France.

The two-time Olympian rocketed off the start block, posting the second- and fourth-fastest start times, propelling her to a combined time of 2:05.59 on the 19-corner track.

“La Plagne is a tricky track. The last time I was here I was on my back through corner seven, so today, was a good day”, said Channell. “Of course, I would have wanted more, but we had made a technical error so I can’t be upset. We don’t have a lot of experience here, so it was a good challenge.”

Channell, a 34-year-old from North Vancouver, was hunting down her fifth career World Cup podiium while sitting in fourth place midway through the two-run race on the track that puts a premium on strong starts and precise driving.

A sport with the medals determined in blinks of an eye, a small mistake in her second trip down the 1,700-metre chute winding its way down the French Alps dropped her to eighth spot in the 31-sled field.

“The start is long and flat. It’s important to make the crest. From there, it’s about maintaining the speed you’ve created through the top corners since it’s pretty flat,” said Channell, who added quick transitions and big pressures with three right hand corners keep the world’s best focused before a flat section to the finish line.

“I had a personal best start in my first run which tied for the second fastest start time. It’s a confidence booster considering I’m one of the oldest in the field. I hope to continue this momentum going into Igls which is notoriously a starters track.”

The eighth-place finish moves Channel into fifth place in the overall World Cup standings.

Hallie Clarke, of Brighton, Ont., also snagged her first top-10 of the season in La Plagne. The 19-year-old, who is loaded with potential, mixed together two consistent starts and runs down one of the most technical tracks in the world. The World Cup sophomore clocked-in at 2:05.80. The top junior-aged athlete in the overall standings, Clarke is sitting in eighth spot overall.

"Getting into the top-10 is always something that I'm proud of, especially when it's my first time at the track. It's a good way to start the European leg of the Tour."

Ottawa’s Mirela Rahneva, rounded out the Canadian women’s results in 18th spot. A bronze medallist at the season-opener in Beijing, Rahneva stopped the clock at 2:06.41 in her two runs. She is now sixth overall.

Great Britain’s Tabitha Stoecker was crowned World Cup champion in just her second start on the elite circuit. Fast starts combined with near flawless sliding resulted in a golden time of 2:05.13 at the bottom.

Mystique Ro, of the United States, slid to the silver medal at 2:05.20. Kimberley Bos, of The Netherlands, claimed the bronze medal at 2:05.22.

Two Canadians suited up in the men’s race, making their first World Cup starts of the season. Calgary’s Blake Enzie slid to 24th spot with a two-run time of 2:03.39. Montreal’s Jordan Rwiyamilira did not qualify for the second heat with the fastest 25 athletes, and finished 30th overall.

Korea’s Seunggi Jung won the La Plagne men’s race with a time of 2:00.61. Matt Weston, of Great Britain, claimed silver at 2:00.69. His teammate, Marcus Wyatt, stopped the clock at 2:00.94 to take the bronze medal.

The World Cup continues in La Plagne on Saturday with the women’s monobob and two-man bobsleigh races.

Complete Women’s Skeleton Results: https://www.ibsf.org/en/result/503325/?cHash=5a73ea2adfb6a3ad2828eed6aaa2229e

Complete Men’s Skeleton Results:

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