Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
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Daly finishes fourth in men’s skeleton Olympic dress rehearsal
RZHANAYA POLYANA, Russia (Feb. 15, 2013)- John Daly (Smithtown. N.Y.) generated momentum leading into the Olympic season after finishing fourth in the men’s skeleton World Cup finale on the newly constructed track for the 2014 Games. Daly slid a strong performance to finish a mere 0.07 seconds from the medals to cap a season of ups and downs.
“This is an awesome way to finish out the season,” Daly said. “We have such a great coaching staff and support, and I really like this track. It’s hard to explain because it’s not a fast paced course, but it’s tricky in spots. It’s a lot of fun because there are challenging sections you have to piece together in order to gain or maintain speed.”
Daly started and ended the season with career best fourth place finishes. He was on a high after starting the competitive year with fourth place on his home track in Lake Placid, N.Y. before struggling to find his rhythm throughout the next seven races. Daly rediscovered his form during World Championships, where he tied for fifth in the men’s skeleton race and helped USA-1 win gold in the team event. He maintained his momentum to lead the U.S. men in today’s Olympic dress rehearsal.
“We spent a lot of time this season experimenting with sled setups and trying new things,” Daly said. “Maybe we sacrificed some points as a result, but we figured out the sled setup this season and now I can slide like this all next season. I get to dial it in and focus on going for the medals.”
Daly was in fourth position after a first run of 57.60 and was seated just 0.10 seconds behind Latvian Tomass Dukurs, who was third. German Frank Rommel posted a blistering second run to move ahead of Daly, and the American assumed he would finish no better than fifth with his final heat time of 57.99 seconds.
“I was walking through the media zone and figured that was that and I had no chance to move up once Tomass was on course,” Daly said. “But then my teammates ran over and told me to watch the TV, and I couldn’t believe he’d made mistakes and dropped back.”
Tomass dropped into fifth position, moving Daly back up into fourth place with his total time of 1:55.59. Rommel held onto third position with a combined time of 1:55.52, edging Daly by just 0.07 seconds for bronze.
“I’m really happy, and finishing just outside of bronze keeps me hungry to medal here next year at the Olympics,” Daly said.
Martins Dukurs from Latvia claimed his seventh World Cup victory of the season to claim the overall title. Dukurs dominated from start to finish and led the field by 0.17 seconds to win gold with a combined time of 1:54.12. Dukurs was also awarded the first-ever “Triple Trophy,” which includes a cash prize of 100,000 euros, for winning the last three World Cup races of the season.
Alexander Tretiakov was eager to lay the groundwork for gold in 2014 on his home track today, but a few mistakes in the first run were enough to bar him from the lead. Tretiakov clocked a two-run total of 1:54.29 for silver.
Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) steadily progressed throughout the season after knee surgery last summer and finished 11th with a combined time of 1:56.26 after clocking runs of 58.05 and 58.21 seconds.
Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) rejoined the World Cup team for the final event and finished 13th. After just a brief week of training on the new track, Tress threaded together runs of 58.00 and 58.34 seconds for a total time of 1:56.34.
Racing continues today with the women’s bobsled World Cup event at 8 pm local time/11 am ET. Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 1:54.12 (56.90, 57.22); 2. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:54.29 (57.07, 57.22); 3. Frank Rommel (GER) 1:55.52 (57.65, 57.87); 4. John Daly (USA) 1:55.59 (57.60, 57.99);…11. Matt Antoine (USA) 1:56.26 (58.05, 58.21); 13. Kyle Tress (USA) 1:56.34 (58.00, 58.34);
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: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, WIDIA, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Ludus Tours, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.