From Winterberg, GER
Much like the rest of the race weekend, the weather in Winterberg made for a tricky, and some may say unfair race in women’s skeleton.
Despite the race being a one-heat event, there was an effort to get the first run in. Snow picked up throughout the first few sliders, with it accumulating in the wide open start grooves. After seven sleds, the start variance from Kim Meylemans in first to Kendall Wesenberg was .81 despite a clean start for the American. After Anna Fernstädt came down the track over a half-second back, the jury decided to cancel the first heat and make the race a one-heat event.
In the one heat, Elisabeth Vathje excelled. She was one of the quickest at the top, and found speed where no one else could on her way to her second gold medal of the 2016/2017 season. Vathje beat Jacqueline Lölling of Germany by a tenth of a second, with the difference being Vathje’s start.
Mimi Rahneva finished third, just .02 behind Lölling. The bronze medal tied career World Cup best, and helped put two Canadians on the podium.
Austrian Janine Flock finished fourth, just ahead of German Tina Hermann and Olympic gold medalist Lizzy Yarnold.
In the European Championships, Lölling took gold, Flock silver, and Hermann bronze, with Yarnold, Kimberley Bos, and Laura Deas rounding out the top six.
It was a tough day for the Americans, with Kendall Wesenberg leading the way tied for tenth. Annie O’Shea finished a few spots behind her in 13th, while Katie Uhlaender’s run was heavily affected by a late snow squall, leaving her 20th.
Jane Channell finished 12th to round out the Canadian effort.
The snow picked back up later in the run, with snow filling the start grooves like in the first heat. This dramatically affected the starts of the women who started from 18th and back. Aside from Uhlaender’s start, nobody from the 19th starting spot on back could crack a six second start (Uhlaender’s time was a 5.98).
|15||Joska Le Conte||NED||1||5.60||59.19|