Canadian Elisabeth Vathje wins gold in women's skeleton at World Cup | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Canadian Elisabeth Vathje wins gold in women's skeleton at World Cup

Canada's Elisabeth Vathje, of Calgary, Alta., competes in a World Cup Skeleton race in Whistler, B.C., on Friday December 2, 2016.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
December 03, 2016 - 1:00 PM

WHISTLER, B.C. - Canada's Elisabeth Vathje won gold in the first women's skeleton World Cup stop of the season on Friday night at the Whistler Sliding Centre track.

After leading the pack after the first run, the 22-year-old Calgary native easily beat out her competition with a two-run time of 1 minute 49.25 seconds. This was her second World Cup gold, following another first-place finish in Calgary two years ago.

"God is good. I'm just so thankful to him for this opportunity," said Vathje. "It was freeing. I just had freedom on this track, and it's emotional because I have crashed here probably more than anyone. I knew there was a chance I could win it, but anything happens on race day. I set my goals… and if I stuck to that I knew I could do well today."

Following her on the podium were Jacqueline Loelling of Germany in second place with her time of 1:50.09, and Tina Hermann, also of Germany, in the bronze-medal position in 1:50.11.

"I won by 84 hundredths (of a second), and that's insane," Vathje added. "These are the best girls in the world, and I'm blown away."

Olympic gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold of Britain took fourth in her first race since winning the 2014-15 world championships, while Ottawa's Mirela Rahneva rounded out the top five. Canada's third slider, North Vancouver native Jane Channell, finished 16th.

Later Friday, Canada's two-man bobsled team of Justin Kripps and Jesse Lumsden tied for fourth place.

Germany's Francesco Friederich and Margis Thorsten won gold with a top time of 1:44.21, Switzerland's Rico Peter and Thomas Amrhein placed second in 1:44.67 and Yungjong Won and Youngwoo Seo of South Korea were third in 1:44.69.

"(We) executed well on the track, everything kind of came together today and unfortunately that translated into fourth place instead of a medal, but that's racing," said Kripps. "We've got to go back to the shop and find some speed in the sleds."

Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and Lumsden, of Edmonton, tied Germany's Johannes Lochner and Joshua Bluhm at 1:44.73.

It was Lumsden's first race back since taking a two-year hiatus from the track after the 2014 Olympic Games.

"I'm happy to be back, (but) I'm disappointed in myself," he said. "I need to be better for Justin. I get an opportunity to be with three other guys tomorrow and I'll be ready."

The defending champions of the two-man race in Whistler from 2015, Chris Spring and Lascelles Brown of Calgary, timed in at 1:45.07 for 10th place. World Cup rookie Nick Poloniato, of Hamilton, and Calgary's Derek Plug finished in 14th at 1:45.39.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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