SKELETON: Lund Golden on 2006 Olympic Track; Bernotas Claims Bronze in Men's Skeleton World Cup
CESANA, Italy- Defending World Cup Champion Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah) won his second gold medal of the season today on the 2006 Olympic track at the men's skeleton World Cup competition in Cesana, Italy. Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) reclaimed his overall World Cup lead after joining his teammate on the podium with a bronze medal performance today."Zach and Eric both had great performances today,"said Greg Sand, U.S. skeleton assistant coach."After the races yesterday, both if them said it was a good learning experience and were excited to make their preparation and race adjustments accordingly. I think their experience, talent and maturity as World Cup sliders played a large role in their ability to come back on the second day of racing, make adjustments, and leave Cesana with medals."Lund regained his confidence after a fifth place result in yesterday's competition, crossing the finish line with a time of 57.60 seconds in the first heat. Kristan Bromley from Great Britain had the lead over Lund by only 0.08 seconds with a run of 57.52. Bromley, 2004 World Cup Champion, returned to competition after an injury last season, and made a statement by winning silver at the World Cup season opener in Calgary. Lund slid a second run time of 57.64 seconds for a two-run total of 1:55.24. Standing in the leader's box, Lund waited for Bromley to complete his run. Bromley slid nearly identical splits to Lund's run until the fifth interval. Crossing the line with a time of 57.76 for a total of 1:55.28, Bromley fell behind Lund by only 0.04 seconds, giving the American the victory."The breakfast wager this morning was to shave our physio's head to a mohawk if there was a win,"Sand said."Our physio's name is Tetsuya Hasegawa, so we have to call him 'Mr. T' until it grows back out. Hey, whatever it takes to motivate, right'"Bernotas recovered from his eighth place result yesterday, finishing with the bronze medal today to reclaim the overall World Cup lead. Bernotas slid the fourth and third fastest heats of the competition, a 57.73 and 58.06, respectively. Bernotas edged out Germany's Sebastian Haupt for the podium by 0.36 seconds with a two-run total of 1:55.79. U.S. National Champion Caleb Smith (Lake Placid, N.Y.) finished 21st after a first run of 59.01. Only the top 20 sliders are given a second run. Log onto www.NBCOlympics.com, presented by MediaZone, to watch the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Team in action LIVE and On-Demand this weekend. Women's bobsled will compete at 3 am on Saturday, Jan. 19, with two-man bobsled following at 10:30 am. The Cesana World Cup will conclude on Sunday, Jan. 20 with four-man bobsled at 3 am. All times listed are in EST. For complete results of the race, please visit www.bobsleigh.com, the Web site of the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganning (FIBT). Results: 1. Zach Lund (USA) 1:55.24 (57.60, 57.64); 2. Kristan Bromley (GBR) 1:55.28 (57.52, 57.76); 3. Eric Bernotas (USA) 1:55.79 (57.73, 58.06);_21. Caleb Smith (USA) (59.01, DNS); 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, Columbia Sportswear Company, ULU Boots, CW-X, KBC Helmets, Racing Electronics, Schenker Logistics, Speedo and Whelen Engineering. For more information, please visit the USBSF Web site at www.usbsf.com.