Dom Parsons sliding into form at perfect time as skeleton and bobsleigh athletes impress at St Moritz
Dom Parsons recorded his best result for two years and there were top-ten finishes for Lizzy Yarnold and bobsleigh drivers Mica McNeill and Bradley Hall as British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA) athletes competed in the latest IBSF World Cup at St Moritz.
It was the last competition before selection is confirmed for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which are now less than a month away.
Parsons – a Mechanical Engineering PhD student at the University of Bath, the BBSA’s training base in the UK – was in fantastic form as he placed joint fifth in the men’s skeleton, just six-hundredths of a second behind bronze-medallist Martins Dukurs.
That was the highest World Cup finish since February 2016 for Parsons, who is aiming to compete in his second Winter Olympic Games. Team-mate Jerry Rice was 12th in a race won by World Cup leader Sungbin Yun of South Korea.
Sochi 2014 Olympic Champion Yarnold also enjoyed her best result since the second race of the season as she finished ninth in the women’s competition. Laura Deas was 12th, one place ahead of Sports Performance graduate Madelaine Smith.
Perhaps the most impressive performance of the weekend came from the women’s bobsleigh team of McNeill and Mica Moore who, just a week after suffering a high-speed crash in Altenberg, secured a super seventh spot in St Moritz.
The four-man team of Hall, Nick Gleeson, Joel Fearon and Greg Cackett then finished tenth in their race, within a second of the gold-medallists. The second GB crew of Lamin Deen, Ben Simons, Toby Olubi and Andrew Matthews placed 19th.
BBSA athletes do their UK training at the University of Bath Sports Training Village, utilising the high-performance gym and the only outdoor push-start track in the country. Including Yarnold’s success at Sochi 2014, University-based skeleton athletes have won medals at all four of the previous Winter Games – Alex Coomber took bronze at Salt Lake City in 2002, Shelley Rudman won silver at Turin in 2006 and graduate Amy Williams memorably struck gold at Vancouver 2010.