KOENIGSSEE, Germany — World Cup leader Mellisa Hollingsworth set a track record in her second run to win a skeleton race Friday, and couldn’t be prouder that a Canadian now holds the top time on a German venue.
The native of Eckville clocked 49.48 seconds and 48.78 seconds for an aggregate of 1:38.26 on the world’s oldest refrigerated track, beating first-run leader Kerstin Szymkowiak of Germany by 0.24 seconds.
“That track record will stand forever because they are changing the bottom of this track next year,” said Hollingsworth. “The Germans always have track records on their home tracks so I think it is pretty cool a Canadian name will remain the track record holder here forever.”
Shelley Rudman of Britain was third, 0.47 behind Hollingsworth.
She earned her second victory and fifth podium of the season by flawlessly navigating the Kreisel corner in her second run, an area that has always caused her troubles. Hollingsworth nearly crashed on her exit during her first run Friday.
“Nearly every coach and athlete from other nations came up to me after my second run and said I had a perfect line in the 360 degree Kreisel corner in my second run, and that for me was really cool,” said Hollingsworth. “It is hard for us to achieve perfection in anything we do in life, and that was the first time I felt I had done something perfect.”
The previous track record was 49.21 seconds set by Anja Huber of Germany three years ago. She finished fifth Friday.
Carla Pavan of Lethbridge finished 13th in her first World Cup start at 1:39.71. Michelle Kelly of Fort St. John, B.C., finished 14th at 1:38.88.
Hollingsworth leads the World Cup with 1,236 points. Rudman has 1,187 and Szymkowiak is third at 1,164.
“That gap between us doesn’t mean a whole lot to me right now,” said Hollingsworth. “Shelley is a really great slider and there is no guarantee I will head to Whistler with the No. 1 bib on. I have a lot of work left to do.”
Martins Dukurs of Latvia, who also leads the overall standings, won the men’s race in 1:35.29 after runs of 47.74 seconds and 47.55 seconds. Dukurs beat two Germans. Sandro Stielicke was 0.34 second behind and Frank Rommel 0.55 back. Jon Montgomery of Russell, Man., was sixth in 1:36.06. Olympic silver medallist Jeff Pain of Calgary was eighth at 1:36.29, and Toronto’s Mike Douglas finished 11th at 1:36.61.
Dukurs has 1,269 after his third win of the season. Rommel has 1,211 and Stielicke 1,102.