British slider Shelley Rudman won the gold medal at the St Moritz Skeleton World Cup in Switzerland today (Friday).
Rudman, silver medallist for Great Britain at the Torino Olympic Winter Games in 2006, won her second World Cup gold of the season and her fourth medal overall.
Second to Canada’s world ranked number one Mellisa Hollingsworth after the first of two heats, Rudman’s second run of 1:09.88 was the quickest of the day. It piled the pressure on the Canadian, who could only take silver, finishing four-hundredths of a second overall behind the Brit.
Rudman’s gold today followed the gold she won at the Cessana track in Italy last month, silver at Lake Placid in the USA in November and bronze at Konigssee in Germany a week ago. With fourths in two other races, Rudman’s lowest World Cup finish of the season was her seventh in Altenburg, Germany in December.
Team-mate Amy Williams, silver medallist at last season’s World Championships, also performed well in the women’s race this afternoon. She finished fourth overall – her sixth top-10 World Cup finish from seven competitions.
Williams was sixth after the first run but climbed a couple of places on the second, missing out on the bronze medal by 0.27 seconds.
Rudman remains second in the overall world rankings with Williams fifth.
Britain’s athletes were in action in the Intercontinental Cup in Calgary Sarah Sydney achieved her highest Intercontinental Cup finish to date, coming eighth. Donna Creighton finished 10th.
Today’s Skeleton World Cup races were the final World Cup events counting towards national quotas and points of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games qualification period. Overnight UK time sees the second Intercontinental Cup race in successive days in Calgary, Canada which also comes within the qualification period.
The British Olympic Association announces its selection of Team GB skeleton athletes for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games on Friday 29th January.
The Skeleton World Cup circuit now moves on to the final leg of the 2009/10 series at Igls in Austria next week – an event that doubles as the European Championships. Women compete on Friday 22nd January with the men going on Saturday 23rd January. The final round of the Intercontinental Cup is at Park City in the USA on Friday 22nd January.
Results from St Moritz World Cup – women
Gold: Shelley Rudman (GBR) – 2:20.42
Silver: Mellisa Hollingsworth (CAN) – 2:20.46
Bronze: Kerstin Szymkowiak (GER) – 2:20.68
4th: Amy Williams (GBR) – 2:20.95
Results from Calgary Intercontinental Cup – women
Gold: Anja Huber (GER) – 1:55.51
Silver: Amy Gough (CAN) – 1:55.83
Bronze: Michelle Kelly (CAN) – 1:56.50
8th: Sarah Sydney (GBR) – 1:57.58
10th: Donna Creighton (GBR) – 1:57.91
Overall FIBT world Rankings – women
1: Mellisa Hollingsworth (CAN) - 1446
2: Shelley Rudman (GBR) – 1412
3: Kerstin Szymkowiak (GER) – 1364
5: Amy Williams (GBR) – 1168
16: Donna Creighton (GBR) – 809
32: Sarah Sydney (GBR) – 460
59: Maggie Davies (GBR) - 240
photos Janos Schmidt