Daly ties for fifth in men's skeleton World Championships

Feb. 02, 2013, 10:29 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, abird@usbsf.com

Daly ties for fifth in men’s skeleton World Championships

Photo by John Nielsen

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Feb. 2, 2013)-John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) posted four consistent runs over two days of men’s skeleton World Championship racing to tie for fifth place.  The final day of racing was one of the most exciting yet as 0.03 seconds decided the title, and several athletes jockeyed for a position in the top 10 standings.    

“I’m thrilled,” Daly said.  “This is amazing.  Everyone believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself, and I’m just at a loss for words right now.”

Daly started the day in sixth and maintained his position after a third run of 1:09.06. Canadian Eric Neilson moved up from ninth yesterday to tie Daly heading into the final run.

Nielson posted a blistering fourth run of 1:08.63, and Daly momentarily fell back into seventh after crossing the finish in 1:08.81.  He was visibly upset with the setback, but his disappointment was short-lived.  Tomass Dukurs powered off the start block with all his might to bid for the medals, but a misstep while loading caused the sled to pop out of the start groove.  Dukurs’ sled skid into the first curve, and he was unable to gain the lost time down the course.  He fell back into eighth, moving Daly into sixth.

“I thought I had blown it,” Daly said.  “I was so disappointed, but I knew my run had to be worth something.  It felt like a good trip, and I was consistent with my other runs.  Then it all started to turn around for me.”

German Frank Rommel was in fourth after the third heat and chasing Russian Sergei Chudinov for the bronze medal.  He was overly eager and made some crucial mistakes en route to the finish to drop him back a spot to tie with Daly.  

“This is unbelievable,” Daly said.  “I’ve always slid well here, and it feels great to be amongst the best in the world.”

Daly and Rommel posted a four-run total of 4:35.19 to tie for fifth place, and Neilson finished fourth.  Chudinov’s aggregate time of 4:34.62 secured bronze, and it was down to the hundredths for the title.

Alexander Tretiakov, nicknamed the “Russian Rocket” for his record-breaking start times, was the overnight leader by 0.09 seconds over Latvian Martins Dukurs.  Tretiakov extended his lead to 0.46 seconds in the third run, but Martins Dukurs closed the gap again in the final heat after posting a cumulative time of 4:32.38.  Tretiakov dropped back during the run, but found a pocket of speed on the course to edge Martins Dukurs by a mere 0.03 seconds for gold.  Tretiakov’s victory is the first skeleton World Championship title for the Russian team.

Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) continues to improve his starts since knee surgery last summer, and powered the sled to the first timing eye in 5.02 and 5.01 seconds today.  Antoine clocked nearly identical finish times of 1:09.37 and 1:09.36 to combine with yesterday’s first two runs for a total time of 4:36.53 to finish 12th.

Universal Sports will broadcast the men’s skeleton final runs today from 1-2 p.m. ET.  World Championships conclude tomorrow with the final two heats of four-man bobsled racing at 10 a.m. local time.  Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.


1. Alexander Treatiakov (RUS) 4:32.35 (1:07.85, 1:07.92, 1:08.35, 1:08.23); 2. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 4:32.38 (1:07.87, 1L07.99, 1:08.72, 1:07.80); 3. Sergei Chudinov (RUS) 4:34.62 (1:08.12, 1:08.30, 1:09.54, 1:08.66);…5. John Daly (USA) 4:35.19 (1:08.64, 1:08.68, 1:09.06, 1:08.81);…12. Matt Antoine (USA) 4:36.53 (1:08.87, 1:08.93, 1:09.37, 1:09.36).

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