Frustration for Hollingsworth, Kelly in skeleton
German skeleton racer Marion Trott took home World Cup gold Thursday in Whistler, B.C., after Canadian Mellisa Hollingsworth staked out an early lead only to wash out in the final heat.
Trott said she couldn't believe it when Hollingsworth fishtailed through a corner high up on the 16-turn course on her second run to take herself out of contention.
"I thought 'That's unbelievable because now I am the winner. That's crazy,"' said Trott.
The 24-year-old racer logged a combined two-race time of 1:49.86 on the 1,450-metre track at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
She trailed leader Hollingsworth by just nine-one-hundredths of a second after the first heat, then drove a near-perfect race in the second to win her second medal of the season. She took home bronze in Konigssee, Germany, last month.
"I like the track, it is really fast and difficult, that is what I like," said Trott.
For Hollingsworth, it was another teeth-gnashing case of what if.
"My second run, I knew I needed to be a little more aggressive today with the speeds and I was too aggressive," she said. "I skinned my sled in corner four and that is probably where you saw a little bit of a water-slide ride.
"I wasn't really going around the corners; I was too busy going up and down."
The 28-year-old from Eckville, Alta., finished with a combined 1:51.71, which was 1.85 seconds off the pace.
Hollingsworth was coming off a silver medal performance in St. Moritz three weeks ago, missing out on gold on the Swiss track by nine one-hundredths of a second when she bumped on the top of the track.
Great Britain racer finishes second
Amy Williams of Great Britain finished second Thursday, five-tenths of a second behind Trott and proving her field-leading training times this week were not a fluke.
German Anja Huber was third at 1.50.71, adding a bronze medal to the three World Cup golds she has already taken home this season.
Katie Uhlaender of the United States finished fourth and Maya Pedersen, the skeleton Olympic gold medal winner from 2006, was fifth.
Uhlaender, 24, has five top-six finishes but has yet to hit the podium this season.
It was a disappointing day all around for Canada at the inaugural World Cup event at the track overlooking this ski resort, a two-hour drive north of Vancouver.
The centre will host the sledding events for the 2010 Olympics.
B.C.'s Michelle Kelly flamed out
Michelle Kelly of Fort St. John, B.C., drove in the top five through most of the training runs this week only to flame out when it mattered.
The 34-year-old was 13th in the 20-sled field after the first race and finished ninth in the second heat for a combined 1:52.11, more than two seconds back of the leader.
"I didn't expect to be sitting in 13th place on my home track," said Kelly, who was coming off her best performance of the year — a bronze medal win at St. Moritz.
She labelled it an extremely disappointing day.
"I came out expecting to be in the top three," she said.
Sarah Reid of Calgary finished 14th, more than three seconds behind Trott.
The men's skeleton race was to take place Thursday night. The women's bobsled and men's two-man bobsled are scheduled for Friday and the four-man bobsled takes place Saturday.