SOCHI, Rus.—Canada’s Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden captured the overall World Cup two-man bobsleigh title despite finishing tied for fourth place on Saturday in Sochi, Russia.
Rush, of Humboldt, Sask, and Lumsden, of Burlington, Ont., slid just shy of the medals after clocking a two-run of 1:54.41 in their first competitive test on the 17-corner track that will be used for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
“I have always really wanted to win an overall title, and this feels great,” said the 32-year-old Rush. “Big thanks to Jesse and Lascelles <Brown> for the great starts and to all the members of the team that worked so hard for this all year. The Sochi track is awesome. Everything about it is big and impressive. It is by far the nicest facility on tour.”
Rush teamed up with two of the most powerful brakemen on the planet in Lumsden and Brown to rack up two World Cup victories and four podium finishes en route to winning his first overall title. Rush and Lumsden have six career World Cup medals together, including three victories, in addition to sliding to the silver medal at last year’s World Championships.
“It is a great way to finish off the two-man season. It truly was a team effort this year,” said Lumsden. “Lascelles and I both pushed Team Rush onto the podium, and Lyndon was awesome navigating the tracks. I am very proud of what we accomplished.”
Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Chelsea Valois were also crowned World Cup champions on Friday winning the women’s overall title.
Switzerland’s Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter won the two-man race with a time of 1:53.76. Germany’s Thomas Florschuetz and Andreas Bredau captured the silver medal at 1:54.06. Latvia’s Oskars Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens slid to the bronze (1:54.16).
Canada’s Brown teamed up with a fellow-Calgarian on Saturday. The Two-time Olympic medallist pushed Chris Spring to a solid sixth-place finish with a two-run time of 1:54.41.
Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., completed his rookie season on the elite circuit with Edmonton’s Neville Wright on the brakes. The Canadian duo finished 18th at 1:55.27.
Earlier in the day two Canadian women hit the start line for the skeleton race.
Olympic medallist, Mellisa Hollingsworth led the Canadians with a 14th-place finish. The Eckville, Alta. resident completed a season riddled with illness by posting a time of 2:01.14.
“It’s one of the worst seasons I have had in a long time, but it starts with my slow pushes. Not training the last two summers <to compete in rode> has caught up with me,” said Hollingsworth, who was sick again this week. “I didn’t feel prepared at all for this race, but hope when we come back next fall to put the little I did learn into action immediately and build on it. It has been a long season, but I’m looking forward to getting back to Canada, get refreshed and hungry for a quality of summer of training.”
World Cup rookie, Cassie Hawrysh of Brandon, Man., finished 16th (2:01.71). Canada’s Sarah Reid was ill and did not race.
The Americans grabbed the top-two spots on the podium. Noelle Pikus-Pace was first at 1:58.91. Katie Uhlaender slid to the silver with a time of 1:59.02. Germany’s Anja Huber grabbed the bronze at 1:59.78.
The World Cup wraps up on Sunday in Sochi with the men’s four-man bobsleigh race.
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 – Dow Chemical, Adidas, KBC Helmets, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, Conceptum Sport Logistics, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.
Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Men’s Bobsleigh Results:
1. Hefti/Lamparter, SUI, 1:53.76; 2. Florschuetz/Bredau, GER, 1:54.06; 3. Melbardis/Dreiskens, LAT, 1:54.16; T4. Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Lumsden, Burlington, Ont., CAN 1, 1:54.41; T4. Zubkov/Trunenkov, RUS, 1:54.41
Other Canadian Results:
6. Spring, Calgary/Brown, Calgary, CAN 2, 1:54.51; 18. Kripps, Summerland, B.C./Wright, Edmonton, CAN 3, 1:55.27
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1. Noelle Pikus-Pace, USA, 1:58.91; 2. Katie Uhlaender, USA, 1:59.02; 3. Anja Huberg, GER, 1:59.78; 4. Marion Thees, GER, 1:59.97; 5. Elena Nikitina, RUS, 2:00.34
14. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., 2:01.14; 16. Cassie Hawrysh, Brandon, Man., 2:01.71