Canadian sliders off to a flying start 

Bobsleigh, skeleton teams grab medals in Calgary

By Andrew Mitchell

If early season World Cup results are any indication, the Whistler sliding centre being built on Blackcomb should be put to good use by the Canadian team in 2010.

The national bobsleigh and skeleton team earned several medals at home at the Visa Calgary World Cup last week, and had racers in the top-10 of every event.

The women’s skeleton team led it off on Nov. 30, with Lindsay Alcock posting the second-fastest second run of the day to place fourth — just two-tenths of a second off of the podium. Carla Pavan, making her first World Cup appearance, placed fifth while Amy Gough of B.C. had to settle for 20 th .

Canada’s best shot at a podium, Michelle Kelly, should have placed second but was disqualified when her sled came in slightly overweight at the finish — the result of picking up ice and snow during the race.

In the men’s race, Calgary’s Jeff Pain won the gold medal — vindication after being disqualified the week before with the same weigh issue as Kelly.

Canadian rookie Jon Montgomery finished third, while Paul Boehm moved up to fourth in this second run. Kelly Forbes was 10 th .

In the women’s bobsleigh event, the team of Helen Upperton and Jaime Cruickshank started off strong with the second-quickest first run down the course, but made a small error that moved them back to fourth. The team of Amanda Stepenko and Shelley-Ann Brown finished 10 th .

In the men’s two-man bobsleigh, Pierre Lueders and Lascelles Brown picked up the bronze medal.

In the four-man bobsleigh the team of Lueders, Brown, Ken Kotyk and David Bissett placed third.

This weekend the bobsleigh teams will be racing in another World Cup at Park City, Utah.

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