Mirela Rahneva Fights for Fifth at Skeleton World Cup in Austria

Cynthia Appiah snowed-in at eighth in women’s monobob race

INNSBRUCK, Aut.—Mirela Rahneva slid to fifth place finish at a World Cup skeleton stop in Innsbruck, Austria on Friday afternoon to lead the Canadian contingent of head first sliders.

The two-time Olympian finished with a two-run down time of 1:48:13 on the 1,478-metre track.

Rahneva, a 35-year-old from the Nation’s Capital was in the podium mix, sitting in second spot following her first run down the 14-corner chute, but came up just shy of securing her second podium finish of the young season, dropping to fifth spot.

"I'm happy with a top-six finish. There is lots of work to do to get back into a physically strong position to push for medals on tracks where the start is so crucial," said Rahneva. "I'm happy with my driving this week, but it takes all the puzzle pieces to be able to step onto the World Cup podium in such a competitive field."

Kimberley Bos, of The Netherlands, clocked top times in both heats to secure the gold medal with a time of 1:47.91. Italy’s Valentina Margaglio slid to the silver at 1:48.08. Tabitha Stoecker, of Great Britain, claimed third spot at 1:48.11.

World Cup sophomore, Hallie Clarke, slid to 20th place at 1:49.15. Jane Channell, of North Vancouver, crashed in the final corner of the track on the second heat and was not given a time despite crossing the finish line with her sled.

Canada’s Kyle Donsberger and Troy Wilson made their first World Cup starts of the season. Neither athlete qualified for the second run with the top-25. Calgary’s Donsberger was 28th. Troy Wilson, who originally hails from Woodstock, N.B., was 32nd in his World Cup debut.

Canadian Women Post Top-10 Monobob Finishes

Toronto’s Cynthia Appiah continues to make progress in her ultimate goal of climbing back onto the World Cup podium, but got the short end of a snow race.

“My training runs were great, so I was at ease going into today’s race,” said Appiah. “I’m not one to make excuses, but a snow race is one of the most unpredictable conditions to race in. Unfortunately, I got bit hard by the snow in the track today.”

The 33-year-old Appiah led two Canadian sleds with an eighth-place finish and a combined time of 1:52.50.

“I came into the race this week as prepared as one can be,” said Appiah, who was third in Austria one year ago. “Innsbruck is a track that I’m very familiar with and have had success in the past on, so I was feeling good.”

The Toronto resident posted the third- and fifth-fastest start times. She was in sixth spot after her opening rip down the relatively flat track, but Mother Nature pulled her back into eighth place.

Canada’s sophomore pilot on the World Cup, Bianca Ribi, posted her second straight 10th place finish.

The 27-year-old Calgarian chalked up a two-run time of 1:52.71.

Germany’s Lisa Buckwitz was fast at the top and bottom of the track, winning with a time of 1:51.17. Australia’s Bree Walker clocked-in at 1:51.42 for the silver medal while Germany’s Laura Nolte won the bronze medal with a time of 1:51.47.

The World Cup continues on Saturday in Innsbruck with the two-person bobsleigh races.

Complete Women’s Skeleton Results:

Complete Men’s Skeleton Results:

Complete Monobob Results:

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