Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
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Antoine has season breakthrough and finishes fourth
KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Jan. 14, 2012)–It was a dramatic contest for gold in the men’s skeleton World Cup race in Koenigssee this morning. Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) had a season breakthrough on the track he started his World Cup career on and finished just 0.02 seconds from the medals in fourth.
“Today’s result definitely gave me a much needed confidence boost,” Antoine said. “I refocused this week and tried to go back to the basics so that I wouldn’t overthink my runs. Last week wasn’t the first bad result I’ve had, so I realized I needed to move on quickly if I wanted to get out of the hole. I really like this track and I’ve had success here before, so it feels good to be back in Koenigssee.”
Antoine has had a rollercoaster season with results varying from fourth to 21st place, but the veteran got a taste for the medals again today. Antoine was in bronze medal position after a first run of 51.70 seconds and was within 0.02 seconds from a silver medal.
“I was ahead of some of the best sliders in the world during training, so I was confident I could do well and potentially medal,” Antoine said. “I knew I could be competitive.”
Spirited home track athlete Alexander Kroeckel and Austrian Matthias Guggenberger laid down perfect second runs to challenge the first heat leaders. Antoine’s second run effort of 52.18 seconds was just 0.02 seconds short of maintaining his medal position, and his combined time of 1:43.88 put him in fourth place.
“I made a small mistake that cost me my speed in the middle portion of the track,” Antoine said. “Unfortunately, you can’t make those kinds of mistakes when you’re competing against guys that are this good and equally as hungry to medal.”
There was a new men’s skeleton winner for the first time this season. The Germans proved tough to beat on their home track, and Frank Rommel secured gold for the host nation with a total time of 1:42.94. Rommel had a lead of 0.82 seconds over his teammate Kroeckel, who threaded together a flawless second run to move into silver medal position with a combined time of 1:43.76.
Guggenberger won his first career World Cup medal today after finishing third with a two-run total of 1:43.86. Current World Cup leader Martins Dukurs was unable to smoothly navigate the course and was even off his sled for a brief moment in the final heat. His winning streak came to a halt today and Dukurs was only able to muster a sixth place finish with a total time of 1:44.08.
John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) hasn’t been able to catch a break this season. Daly struggled in a snowy first heat and was unable to move up in the second run despite bettering his start by one-tenth and his finish time by 0.64 seconds in clearer conditions. Daly’s total time of 1:45.24 put him in 17th position.
Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) did not qualify for a second run after finishing 25th in the first heat with a time of 54.23 seconds
The men’s two-man bobsled competition is the next event in the Koenigssee World Cup, beginning at noon local time, followed by the team race. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Frank Rommel (GER) 1:42.94 (51.23, 51.71); 2. Alexander Kroeckel (GER) 1:43.76 (52.11, 51.65); 3. Matthias Guggenberger (AUT) 1:43.86 (51.97, 51.89); 4. Matt Antoine (USA) 1:43.88 (51.70, 52.18);…17. John Daly (USA) 1:45.24 (52.94, 52.30);…25. Kyle Tress (USA) (54.23, 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.