Hollingsworth takes World Cup lead

Canadian skeleton racer Mellisa Hollingsworth continued her podium streak Friday, capturing her fourth straight World Cup medal of the season. The Eckville native finished second to winner Kerstin Szymkowiak of Germany as racers battled cold weather and heavy snow.

Mellisa Hollingsworth raced to silver medal at Winterberg

WINTERBERG, Germany — Canadian skeleton racer Mellisa Hollingsworth continued her podium streak Friday, capturing her fourth straight World Cup medal of the season.

The Eckville native finished second to winner Kerstin Szymkowiak of Germany as racers battled cold weather and heavy snow.

Hollingsworth, 29, was fifth after the first run but rebounded in the second heat to finish with a total time of two minutes 05.22 seconds.

One of Canada’s medal hopefuls at February’s Vancouver Olympics, Hollingsworth has a gold and two bronze medals so far this season.

“That silver medal was like a gold for me today because I was standing beside Kerstin on the podium and it is her home track,” said Hollingsworth. “Winterberg is known as a bit of a crap shoot with the changing ice and weather conditions and you could see that today in the times. It can feel like you had a great run and have no time at the bottom, and vice versa, but I’m definitely happy with it today.”

On the men’s side, Latvia’s Martins Dukurs won gold with a time of 1:59.06. Germany’s Frank Rommel was second in 1:59.81 while Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov took the bronze with a combined time of 1:59.87.

Szymkowiak had the two fastest runs to win in 2:04.72. Svetlana Trunova of Russia finished third in 2:05.49.

Hollingsworth, a bronze medallist at the 2006 Olympics, leads the overall standings after four of eight events at 835 points.

“Things are going really well for me right now, but I do feel like I have a lot to draw on and learn over the next four World Cup races before the Olympics,” added Hollingsworth. “I don’t see this as pressure getting to the podium each week leading to the Olympics. I know the work that is required each week to go out there and do my best, and my goal is to finish number one.”

Olympic silver medallist Jeff Pain of Calgary was the top Canadian in the men’s race, finishing ninth with a time of 2:01.14.

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