Fifth-placed finish is a new career best for Craig Thompson as skeleton athletes continue strong start to World Cup campaign
Craig Thompson continued Great Britain’s strong start to the IBSF Skeleton World Cup season with a career-best fifth in Winterberg on Friday.
The University of Bath-based team ended 2020 with two World Cup medals to their name and weren’t far off adding to that tally at the start of 2021 as Thompson finished just 36 hundredths of a second behind home favourite Alexander Gassner in third.
The result beat Thompson’s previous best of sixth, a feat he first achieved in Igls just under 12 months ago and then matched in Sigulda in the season opener.
Marcus Wyatt, who won World Cup bronze in Sigulda in Race 2, finished 13th and Benji Fulker was a creditable 14th in the 25-strong field on just his second World Cup start.
In the women’s race, Laura Deas led the trio of British entrants as she finished 12th in her first World Cup race since Sigulda. The Olympic bronze medalist was eighth at halfway but a tough second heat saw her drop down the standings. Ashleigh Pittaway was 15th and Madelaine Smith finished 18th.
Friday’s competition doubled as the European Championships and the positions of the three Brits in the men’s race were the same as they were for the World Cup as the sliders from North America all finished behind them but, in the women’s event, Deas placed 11th, Pittaway 13th and Smith 15th after all non-Europeans were removed from the standings for the continental competition.
The World Cup Skeleton circuit now moves on to St Moritz in Switzerland before returning to Germany for Race 7 in Konigssee. The competition concludes in Igls, Austria, with the World Championships following in Altenberg, Germany in early February.