Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
O’Shea and Uhlaender qualify for women’s skeleton final
WINTERBERG, Germany (Dec. 16, 2011)–It was an unpredictable morning for the start of the Winterberg, Germany World Cup weekend. The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) tested a new three-run format for skeleton today, where the top 10 athletes after the first two runs would compete in a final heat the following day.
Both Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) and Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) qualified for the final after finishing fourth and sixth, respectively. Today’s result served as a qualification only. Times will not be carried over into the final, making tomorrow a one-run opportunity for athletes to claim gold.
“I think the new format is a good opportunity for us to get some good exposure,” said Tuffy Latour, U.S. skeleton head coach. “It was a horrendous week of training, but the weather may have actually played in our favor today. All three girls drove well, and we’ll see what Annie and Katie can do tomorrow. They have started to put it together and are really dialed in this season.”
Heavy snow at the start of the race resulted in a canceled first heat, and the second run was the sole qualification for tomorrow’s final.
Nozomi Komuro from Japan led the field in today’s one-heat qualification after clocking a run of 1:00.32. Komuro’s best result in a World Cup race was fourth in Lake Placid, N.Y. last December, and the Japanese athlete will hope to carry her momentum over to the final tomorrow. Germany’s Marion Thees slid a run of 1:00.44 for second place, while teammate Katharina Heinz posted a time of 1:00.50 for third.
O’Shea tied Amy Gough from Canada for fourth after clocking a run of 1:00.51, while Uhlaender tied Canadian Sarah Reid for sixth position with a run of 1:00.52. Just 0.31 seconds separated Nozomi from the 10th ranked athlete.
Kimber Gabryszak (Park City, Utah) finished in 17th position after posting a time of 1:01.21, and did not qualify to compete in the final.
Tomorrow’s scheduled is packed with the women’s bobsled and men’s two-man bobsled events in addition to the women’s and men’s skeleton final heats. The men’s skeleton final will take place at 10:10 am between the women’s bobsled heats, while the women’s skeleton final is scheduled for 3:15 pm between the men’s two-man bobsled runs.
The heavy snowfall has turned into rain, and the men’s skeleton athletes are schedule to begin their two qualification runs at 12:30 pm.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1.Nozomi Komuro (JPN) 1:00.32; 2. Marion Thees (GER) 1:00.44, 3. Katharina Heinz (GER) 1:00.50; 4. Annie O’Shea (USA) 1:00.51;…6. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:00.52;…17. Kimber Gabryszak (USA) 1:01.21
About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.