IGLS, Aut.—Two Canadian sleds finished in sixth spot in men’s skeleton and bobsleigh World Cup action in Igls, Austria on Saturday.
Eric Neilson, of Kelowna, B.C., kicked the day off with one of his best finishes of the season placing sixth in the men’s skeleton race with a time of 1:47.11. Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., and Calgary’s Lascelles Brown matched the result in the two-man bobsleigh race after clocking-in at 1:45.62.
It was the third top-six Olympic qualifier for Neilson, who also has two fifth-places finishes in Europe this year. The 31 year old now only needs one more top-six finish on the World Cup next year to punch his ticket to his first ever Olympic Games.
“Today was pretty decent. I didn’t push as well as I had hoped, but considering I have had a fever, and have been sick all week, I’m pretty pleased,” said Neilson. “I’m glad I woke up this morning and felt better. It’s nice to go into World Championships with a good result.”
Fellow Canuck, Jon Montgomery of Russell, Man., continues to improve on his new sled while sliding back into the top-10. The Olympic champ placed eighth at 1:47.46. Calgary’s John Fairbairn was 15th (1:47.92).
Latvia’s Dukurs brothers grabbed the gold and bronze medals on Saturday. Martins continued his dominance finishing on top at 1:45.13, while Tomass rounded out the podium with a time of 1:46.88. Russia’s Alexander Tretjyakov was sandwiched between the Latvians in the silver-medal spot at 1:45.88.
The top men’s two-man bobsledders hit the track in the afternoon. With Rush and Brown in sixth, the Canada 2 sled of Calgary’s Chris Spring and Edmonton’s Neville Wright joined them in the top-10, sliding to eighth with a combined time of 1:45.88.
Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., teamed up with Sam Giguere, of Sherbrooke, Que., to finish 11th (1:46.12).
Switzerland’s Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter posted the time to beat at 1:45.04. Two German sleds were in the second and third place on the podium. Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske won the silver at 1:45.14, while Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker grabbed the bronze medal at 1:45.16.
The final World Cup before the 2013 World Championships in St. Moritz wraps up on Sunday in Igls, Austria 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 Skeleton Results:
1. Martins Dukurs, LAT, 1:45.13; 1:45.88; 3. Tomass Dukurs, LAT, 1:46.48; 4. Sergei Chudinov, RUS, 1:46.96; 5. Frank Rommel, GER, 1:47.10.
6. Eric Neilson, Kelowna, B.C., 1:47.11; 8. Jon Montgomery, Russell, Man., 1:47.46; 15. John Fairbairn, Calgary, 1:47.92
Top-Five Men’s Bobsleigh Results:
1. Hefti/Lamparter, SUI, 1:45.02; 2. Florschuetz/Kuske, GER, 1:45.14; 3. Friedrich/Baecker, GER 2, 1:45.16; 4. Melbardis/Dreiskens, LAT, 1:45.41; 5. Butner/Drbal, USA 2, 1:45.61
6. Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Brown, Calgary, CAN 1, 1:45.62; 8. Spring, Calgary/Wright, Edmtonon, CAN 2, 1:45.88; 11. Kripps, Summerland, B.C./Giguere, Sherbrooke, Que., CAN 3, 1:46.12