WHISTLER, B.C.—Canada’s Sarah Reid celebrated the second World Cup medal of her career, and on the season, after winning the silver on her home track at the Whistler Sliding Centre on Friday.
The 25-year-old Calgarian, who sat in third after the opening run, rocketed her way down the 16-corner, 1,450-metre track in a two-run time of one minute, 51.09 seconds.
"I’m really excited. Coming into this race I had a talk with my coaches about about Salt Lake City because it wasn’t good for me," said Reid. "I wanted to put some pressure on myself, and set high goals this week, so it is great to touch the podium again."
The pint-sized Canuck, who has toiling on both the Intercontinental Cup and World Cup circuits since becoming the first Canadian to win the World Junior Skeleton Championships in 2008, proved she is now ready to contend with the big girls after winning her first World Cup race at the season-opener in Lake Placid, N.Y. two weeks ago.
"It was nice to have races in North American first this year. It is a good way for us to kick of the season and get in our comfort zone," said Reid. "(Whistler) is a really technical track, and obviously a fast track, but it is the smoothest track you will find anywhere in the world, and you know when you are having a good run."
Germany’s Marion Thees captured her third victory at the 2010 Olympic venue in Whistler, B.C. with a golden time of 1:50.92, while Elizabeth Yarnold, of Great Britain, was third at 1:51.17.
The trio of Canadian women positioned themselves for a shot at sweeping the podium after sitting second through fourth place after the first blast down the icy Whistler chute. Costly errors and humid conditions forced the Canucks to celebrate having three sleds in the top-five for the first time in nearly one decade. Canada also had three women’s sleds in the top six two years ago in Winterberg, Germany.
World Cup rookie, Cassie Hawrysh of Brandon, Man., was in second spot after the first run, but dropped to her second-consecutive fourth-place finish with a time of 1:51.19 in just the third World Cup start of the 28-year-old’s career.
"Today was great. I was ahead for the first part and through the bottom I was steering a bit too hard, but that is racing," said Hawrysh. "It is not frustrating to be fourth yet. It is an Olympic qualifier, and this whole season has been a great experience. Each race has taught me something different. This sport and I really clicked, and to be able to stand up with the best girls, and race, is exactly where I want to be."
Olympic bronze medallist and two-time World Cup champion, Mellisa Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta., battled through a head cold and warm conditions to a fifth-place finish at 1:51.25.
"I made a mistake on corner 11, and with my runner selection and how soft and humid this ice is, any kind of skidding you have is going to blow your speed, but it is what it is," said Hollingsworth, who won the silver medal this year at Lake Placid, and was in fourth place after the first run today. "Sliding is hard enough on your head as it is let alone having a massive head cold. It is still an Olympic qualifier in the top six for our program. If I’m feeling this lousy and still able to do that it is positive."
A replay of the women’s skeleton race can be viewed on regional Sportsnet channels at 3 p.m. ONE today, and again this evening on Sportsnet ONE at 9 p.m. EST. The race will also be shown on Sportsnet ONE, November 25, at 5 p.m. EST and 1 a.m. EST. 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:
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1. Marion Thees, GER, 1:50.92; 2. Sarah Reid, Calgary, CAN, 1:51.09; 3. Elizabeth Yarnold, GBR, 1:51.17; 4. Cassie Hawrysh, Brandon, Man., CAN, 1:51.19; 5. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., CAN, 1:51.25.