Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 523-1842, ext 106, email@example.com
For Immediate Release
December 6, 2008
Rohbock Battles Back, Claims Bronze in Women’s Bobsled World Cup Race
ALTENBERG, Germany– Fifteen sleds battled for the gold medal in the women’s bobsled World Cup competition held on the 2008 World Championship track in Altenberg, Germany today. Shauna Rohbock (Park City, Utah) fought the World Championship medalists for a podium position, claiming bronze with push athlete Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.).
Watch Rohbock and Meyers claim bronze on-demand by visiting www.UniversalSports.com.
“It feels great to be back on the podium,” said Rohbock. “I still haven’t had many runs on this track, and I was up against some of the best competitors in the world. I didn’t have a great start to the season last weekend, so I’m really happy with today’s result.”
The last time Rohbock encountered the grueling Altenberg course was at the World Championship event last season, where she and teammate Valerie Fleming crashed on the second day of competition. The U.S. entered the race with limited runs on the tricky course.
“This week was mentally rough,” said Rohbock. “I was able to slowly figure out the curves this week during training, and it came together for me today.”
Rohbock fought against sleds driven by Germans Sandra Kiriasis, Cathleen Martini and Claudia Schramm- the gold, silver and bronze 2008 World Championship medalists, respectively- in the first heat to put the U.S. in reach of the podium.
Rohbock and Meyers were in second after the first heat from top to bottom with a start time of 5.81 and a finish time of 57.93 seconds. Martini was in the lead with a time of 57.79, with Schramm on Rohbock’s heels in third after a run of 57.94. Kiriasis, the reigning Olympic Champion, was sitting patiently in fourth with a time of 58.05.
“It was shocking that Sandra was in fourth after the first heat,” said Rohbock. “She doesn’t make mistakes, and if she does, she usually speeds up. I knew she would come back in the second heat full force.”
Kiriasis burst off the block with teammate Berit Wiacker, surpassing the field with a finish time of 57.66 for a two-run total of 1:55.71 to claim gold. Martini and teammate Janine Tischer were able to hold onto the podium with a second run of 57.94, giving the German duo a combined time of 1:55.73 for the silver medal.
Rohbock and Meyers pushed off the starting block with a push time of 5.82 and slid to the finish with a two-heat total of 1:56.12 after clocking a second run of 58.19 seconds for the bronze.
“Elana did a great job,” said Rohbcok. “This is the first time in thirty races that I’ve competed with someone other than Valerie, so it was definitely a little weird. Valerie and I had a rough summer rehabbing from our injuries from that crash last season, so we had a late start with our training. Elana was able to step up, and we were able to be in the top two push times each heat.”
Schramm and push athlete Nicole Herschmann fell behind into fifth position with a total time of 1:56.17 after sliding a run of 58.23 seconds.
The second U.S. team driven by Erin Pac (Farmington, Conn.) finished tenth with a combined time of 1:57.22 after sliding consistent runs of 58.62 and 58.60. Pac teamed with Michelle Rzepka (Novi, Mich.) for the two fastest start times of the competition, a 5.78 and 5.82.
“If Erin had more runs here on this track, she would most definitely have finished higher,” said Plozza. “Erin and Michelle had the fastest pushes in the field, and they will continue to get faster and faster. I think they will be on the podium this season, so they will be a team to watch.”
Coverage from today’s competition can be viewed on-demand by visiting UniversalSports.com. Universal Sports TV will also offer a one-hour highlight show on Wednesday, Dec. 10th from 6-7 pm ET.
Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing at www.fibt.com. For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Sandra Kiriasis and Berit Wiacker (GER) 1:55.71 (58.05, 57.66); 2. Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer (GER) 1:55.73 (57.79, 57.94); 3. Shauna Rohbcok and Elana Meyers (USA) 1:56.12 (57.93, 58.19);…10. Erin Pac and Michelle Rzepka (USA) 1:57.22 (58.62, 58.60)
About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: Allianz Life, Vilter Manufacturing, KBC Helmets, Luminox Watch Company and ULU Boots. The USBSF would also like to thank the following sponsors and suppliers for their partner, the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project: Whelen Engineering, PPG, Columbia Sportswear, JEGS Automotive, Lucas Oil, Mac Tools and Racing Electronics. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.