Sports briefs 

Skeleton athletes in the medals at World Cup opener


Melissa Hollingsworth kicked off her World Cup skeleton season with the fourth win of her career at Lake Placid this past weekend. She posted the fastest time in both runs to take the victory.

"Training definitely didn't indicate the outcome this week, but I woke up today and decided I wanted to win today," she said of her 18 th career podium.

"My top goal is to head to the Olympics in Whistler and wear the number one bib like I did four years ago (heading into the 2006 Games)."

Her two-run time was 1:54.85. Shelley Rudman of Great Britain placed second with a combined time of 1:55.08, while Germany's Marion Trott was a close third in 1:55.13.

Two other Canadians made the top-eight, with Amy Gough of Abbotsford sixth and Michelle Kelly in a tie for seventh.

The Canadians are working to rank among the top two nations in the world prior to the Games, which would guarantee them three spots in the Olympics.

The men's team was less successful. Jon Montgomery was the top Canadian, in 12 th place. Jeff Pain was 13 th and Mike Douglas 17 th . German sliders Frank Rommel and Sandro Stielicke were first and second with Latvia's Martins Dukurs capturing the bronze.

The women's team also led the way in the two-person bobsleigh on Saturday. Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse won a bronze medal behind two German sleds. Cathleen Martini and Romy Logsch placed first, followed by Sandra Kiriasis and Janine Tischer.

Rounding out the top-12, Canadians Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown were sixth while Amanda Stepenko and Amanda Moreley were 12 th .

The men's bobsleigh teams came close with the team of Pierre Lueders and David Bisett placing fourth. Lyndon Rush and Lascelles Brown were seventh.

The top two teams were American, with John Napier and Charles Berkeley in first and Steven Holcomb and Justin Olsen second. Ivo Rueegg and Roman Hendschin of Switzerland were third.

The final event was the four-man bobsleigh on Sunday. Both Canadian teams placed in the top10 with the team of Lyndon Rush, Chris Le Bihan, Dan Humphries and Bregg Bresciani placing seventh. The team of Pierre Lueders, Ken Kotyk, David Bissett and Justin Kripps placed ninth.

The USA 1 sled placed first, followed by USA 2 and Austria 1.


Lugers surprise at World Cup

Canada's luge team has made steady progress in recent years, from middle of the pack to the top 15 and occasionally top10. Now, less than three months out from the 2010 Olympics the team is showing that it is capable of contending for medals as well.

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