Williams fourth at World Championships halfway mark as three Brits feature in top-10

26 February 2009

Britain’s women sliders are all well placed at the halfway mark of the 2009 Skeleton World Championships, with Amy Williams in fourth and both Shelley Rudman and Donna Creighton also featuring in the top-10.

Rudman, the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games silver medallist, is currently seventh after today’s (Thursday) first two runs, and Creighton, competing at her first World Championships, is 10th.

Andi Schmid, GB Performance Director, said he was delighted to see three British skeleton athletes feature in the top-10 at the halfway mark of the competition – it is also the first time Great Britain have qualified the full complement of three women to compete at the Skeleton World Championships.

The women’s competition reaches its climax on the Lake Placid track in the USA tomorrow (Friday).

“It’s absolutely great to have three women in the top-10. It’s been a great first day for us,” said Schmid. “If Amy does things right tomorrow, she still has a good chance of a medal.

“Shelley’s second run wasn’t her best today, but she is very strong mentally and she should finish strongly tomorrow.

“This is Donna’s first World Championships, but she’s been very positive today.  She hasn’t felt the pressure too much and she just has to continue to enjoy it,” added Schmid. “We’ve had a good day today, now let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Williams, who trains at the University of Bath, took her consistent form that saw her finish fifth overall in the 2008/9 World Cup season to the Lake Placid track for the biggest skeleton event of the season.

Her time of 55.77 second in the first run put her third behind Germany’s 2008/9 World Cup winner Marion Trott and her team-mate Anja Huber. Trott  took 0.32 seconds off the track record in her first run with a time of 55.45 seconds.

Rudman, who finished second overall in the 2008/9 World Cup series and won the European Championship crown in St Moritz in January, was fifth after today’s first run, with Creighton also performing well on her World Championship debut in ninth.

Williams dropped down a place to fourth after the second run, edged out by Australia’s Emma Lincoln-Smith. Williams is still in contention for a podium finish, just 14 hundredths of a second behind the Australian going into tomorrow’s climax to the championships.

Rudman dropped down to seventh after the second run while Creighton goes into day two in 10th.

The women’s competition reaches its climax tomorrow (Friday) with the final two runs. They are scheduled to get underway at 13.45GMT.

Tomorrow also sees the first two races of the men’s competition, featuring Britain’s reigning World Champions Kristan Bromley and team-mates Adam Pengilly and Ant Sawyer. The men’s action is due to start at 18.00 GMT, with the final two runs on Saturday (28th February) from 18.00 GMT.

British Skeleton has its base at the University of Bath.

Positions after two runs:
1st:  Marion Trott (GER) – 55.45, 56.84 = 1:52.29
2nd:  Anja Huber (GER) – 55.70 , 56.99 = 1:52.69 (+0.40)
3rd:  Emma Lincoln-Smith (AUS) – 55.86, 56.94 = 1:52.80 (+0.51)
4th: AMY WILLIAMS (GBR) – 55.77, 57.17 = 1:52.94 (+0.65)
7th:  SHELLEY RUDMAN  (GBR) – 55.90, 57.37 = 1:53.27 (+0.98)
10th:  DONNA CREIGHTON (GBR) – 56.15, 57.27 = 1:53.42 (+1.13)

The British Skeleton Programme is funded by UK Sport, The National Lottery, and TASS as well as partners Adidas and Panasonic.

Great Britain has an impressive track record in the sport of bob skeleton. British sliders have won medals at the last two Olympic Winter Games – Alex Coomber won bronze at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and Shelley Rudman won silver at the 2006 Games in Torino.

Britain’s Kristan Bromley dominated the 2007/8 season, completing a hat-trick by winning the World Championships, the World Cup series and the European Championships. Bromley also won the World Cup series in 2003/4 and the European Championships in the 2003/4 and 2004/5 season, while Rudman captured the European Championship title St Moritz in 2009.

Posted: Thursday 26th February 2009

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