LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—Mellisa Hollingsworth matched her career-best performance at the Skeleton World Championships, winning the silver medal in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Friday.
Sitting in third place after the first run, Hollingsworth moved into the silver medal position at the completion of the first of the two-day, four-run race. The 31-year-old maintained her position in her final two trips down the punishing 20-curve, 1,455-metre track, while clocking a four-run time of 3:42.50.
“It is just awesome,” beamed Hollingsworth at the finish area. “I had four consistent runs and that’s all you can ask for in this kind of race.”
“I’m not tapped out yet though. I didn’t have the strongest pushes so we have some adjustments to work out there, but it was a great day and we are definitely on track two years out from Sochi.”
Katie Uhlaender, of the United States, had the performance of her life while capturing her first-ever World Championship title with a time of 3:42.33. The 2012 Junior World Champion, Elizabeth Yarnold of Great Britain, joined the two North Americans on the podium in third spot at 3:42.69.
An Olympic bronze medallist in 2006, it was the third World Championship medal in Hollingsworth’s 17-year-career. The Eckville, Alta. native also won the silver in 2000 in Igls, Austria, and slid onto the bronze-medal step of the podium last year in Konigssee, Germany.
“At the beginning of the season, the whole focus for Duff (Gibson head coach) and I was about Lake Placid,” added Hollingsworth. “To meet our goals is huge. My entire team is a critical part of this success. From Duff to our team manager and my amazing teammates – this is the best team I’ve been on in 17 years. Everyone is selfless and respectful and we cheer each other on. It is a great environment to be a part of.”
Hollingsworth, who won two gold and two bronze medals en route to finishing fourth overall on the World Cup circuit this year, has 31 career World Cup medals. Hollingsworth’s season was highlighted by conquering her demons at the Whistler Sliding Centre where she won her first World Cup on the 2010 Olympic Track three weeks ago.
Two other Canadian women also wrapped up a successful skeleton campaign in Lake Placid. Calgary’s Sarah Reid finished in 11th spot with a time of 3:44.87, while Amy Gough of Abbotsford, B.C., who claimed her first World Cup victory in Winterberg, Germany earlier this year, finished 12th (3:44.96)
Hollingsworth’s medal brings Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton’s total to four in as many races heading into the final weekend of the 2012 World Championships. Kaillie Humphries and Jenny Ciochetti kicked things off with a gold in women’s bobsleigh one week ago. Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden followed that up with a silver-medal performance in the men’s two-man bobsleigh event. The Canadian men’s and women’s bobsleigh and skeleton squads also joined forces for a bronze-medal finish in the team relay event last Sunday.
“It is fantastic to be a part of this incredible group of athletes that we have in Canada,” said Hollingsworth. “I think our success goes to show with the proper support in place for our team, we can deliver medal-winning performances. Unfortunately we have to say good-bye to Visa this year who have been great to us, but I’m hopeful another company will see the benefits and come onboard to be a part of this great team.”
The World Championships continue on Saturday with the final two runs of the men’s skeleton race, followed by the opening two heats of the men’s four-man bobsleigh competition.
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 – VISA, Dow Chemical, Adidas, KBC Helmets, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, 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 Women’s Skeleton Results:
1. Katie Uhlaender, USA, 3:42.33; 2. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., CAN, 3:42.50; 3. Elizabeth Yarnold, GBR, 3:42.69; 4. Shelley Rudman, GBR, 3:43.13; 5. Amy Williams, GBR, 3:42.24
Other Canadian Results:
11. Sarah Reid, Calgary, 3:44.87; 12. Amy Gough, Abbotsford, B.C., 3:44.96.