Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Daly back on track with fifth place finish
CALGARY, Canada (Feb. 9, 2012)– Men’s skeleton athlete John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) gained momentum after earning gold and silver medals in the Calgary Intercontinental Cup last week to post a fifth place finish in tonight’s World Cup finale. After a season of highs and lows, Daly feels like he’s finally back on track.
“This season has been rough, but I feel like I turned it around these last few races,” Daly said. “Competing in the Intercontinental Cup last week here was a great decision, and I really need to thank the coaches and my teammates for being so supportive. I’m psyched with today’s result and couldn’t ask for a better way to go into World Championships.”
Daly was conservative at the start and entered the final heat in sixth position after sliding a first run of 56.54 seconds. Competitors shuffled positions in a fierce contest for the podium in the second run, but Daly was able to hold onto his position with a two-run total of 1:53.41. A mistake by his teammate allowed Daly to inch up into fifth position to match his personal best World Cup result. After a rollercoaster season of personal records and personal lows, Daly capped the season ranked 18th.
“Some days it feels like the sled weighs 2,000 pounds, and some days it feels like sleigh riding,” Daly said. “The mental aspect of this sport is a bigger deal than people think. I gained some confidence back last week and I was able to maintain that mentality going into the final World Cup.”
Latvian Martins Dukurs has won 12 of the last 16 races, and tonight was no exception. Dukurs solidified himself as the overall World Cup champion after claiming gold again with a combined time of 1:51.88. Russian Alexander Tretiakov trailed behind by 0.68 seconds with a total time of 1:52.56 to earn silver, while German Frank Rommel finished third with an aggregate time of 1:53.28.
Rommel’s medal sealed his second overall position in World Cup standings, and Martins brother Tomass Dukurs claimed the third overall prize.
Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) was 0.07 seconds from the medals after sliding a first run of 56.40 seconds for fourth position. Antoine was on track to challenge his competitors for the podium in the final heat, but a mistake in the straight leading into the 360-degree Kreisel corner dropped him back five spots. The veteran’s total time of 1:53.58 put him in ninth place, and positioned him ninth overall in World Cup standings.
“I’ve had a lot of consistency issues this year,” Antoine said. “My runs are either really good or really bad, and today I had a little of both. I’ve run the gauntlet of emotions this year, so I don’t think anything can faze me going into Worlds.”
Yesterday Antoine misplaced his wallet while at a grocery store and spent the morning before the race canceling his credit cards. He wasn’t able to work on his sled until just a few hours before the race, but Antoine said the extra stress didn’t influence his performance.
“I did an all right job of putting the issue away in my mind before the race,” Antoine said. “It kind of adds to the disappointment, but I’ve never doubted that I can be in the mix with the best in the world. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to home ice next week.”
After making his World Cup debut last weekend, Greg West (Orange Beach, Ala.) put forth another solid effort against a field of seasoned athletes today. West crossed the finish line in 58.63 seconds for 26th position and missed the cutoff to qualify for a second heat.
Tonight's race concludes the skeleton World Cup season. The next stop for the skeleton athletes will be in Lake Placid, N.Y. for the 2012 World Championships, where the U.S. women and men are medal favorites.
Bobsled competition continues tomorrow with the women’s and men’s two-man races. Check out the action live from Calgary by visiting www.fibt.com, or watch the events one-day delayed on Universal Sports. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 1:51.88 (55.76, 56.12); 2. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:52.56 (55.87, 56.69); 3. Frank Rommel (GER) 1:53.28 (56.33, 56.95);…5. John Daly (USA) 1:53.41 (56.54, 56.87);…9. Matt Antoine (USA) 1:53.58 (56.40, 57.18);…26. Greg West (USA) (58.63, DNS);
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.