Hermann claims victory at WSC 

Canadian Channell slides to fourth after setting new start record

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - Germany's Tina Hermann picked up her fourth BMW IBSF win of the season at Whistler Sliding Centre on Jan. 22.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • Germany's Tina Hermann picked up her fourth BMW IBSF win of the season at Whistler Sliding Centre on Jan. 22.

Tina Hermann had laid a hurtin' on her BMW IBSF World Cup skeleton competitors all year.

The 23-year-old German picked up her fourth win in six tries at Whistler Sliding Centre on Friday, extending her overall lead over teammate Jacqueline Loeller in the World Cup standings.

Hermann trailed American Anne O'Shea by two-hundredths of a second after both posted blistering first runs in the rain. When the skies cleared for the second attempts, Hermann was even quicker, improving from 54.57 seconds to 54.33 seconds. Her combined time of one minute, 48.90 seconds (1:48.90) was good enough to best O'Shea by 0.19 seconds in the end. Loeller placed third, 0.58 seconds back.

While not entirely satisfied with her first run, Hermann made it up in a big way with her second attempt, as the only blemish kept her from winning by a greater margin.

"The first run was not so good, but it was OK. I don't make such big mistakes," Hermann said. "The second run was really good, but out of corner 16, I crashed and that was my only mistake, I think."

Sitting in fifth after the first run, Jane Channell of North Vancouver took fourth place, 0.97 seconds off the pace. Though the 27-year-old was just off the podium, she had a little something to celebrate as she set a new record for fastest start at the venue with a 4.84-second blast in her second run. Fellow Canadian Mirela Rahneva held the previous record after setting it last November.

"I felt good. I knew that I had to be explosive off the block. There were a couple technical things that I had to focus from the first start, so I focused on that," Channell said. "I had a good load and it turned into a start record."

Channell retained her third-place position in the overall standings.

Two other Canadians competed in the 20-woman field. Calgary's Elisabeth Vathje placed 10th and Brandon, Man.'s Cassie Hawrysh was 19th.

Action will continue Friday night at 6 p.m. with the first of two men's two-man bobsleigh races.

Saturday will see men's skeleton at 10 a.m., women's bobsleigh at 2 p.m. and the second men's bobsleigh race at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 per day.

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