LOCAL athlete, Laura Deas, starts her successful World Cup campaign with two fifth place finishes in the Skeleton World Cup.
Laura has successfully increased her current ranking to third in the World Cup standings, in a sport which sees riders reach 130km an hour, with their faces just centimetres above the ice. The first race saw her fall just short of fellow Briton and current reigning Olympic Champion, Lizzie Yarnold, who finished in third, but the second leg saw her on top of the GB women.
Lake Placid boasts a track of 1680m that features a vertical drop of 128m and a total of 20 curves, some of which known as the ‘Devil’s Highway’ a tough series of bends that make or break the majority of athletes runs.
However, Laura was able to tackle the beast and put in a solid first run of 55.43 seconds, hitting speeds of 115km an hour, but still leaving her down in eighth place. Despite being lower than she had hoped, she came back fighting on her second run, managing to complete the run in 55.26 seconds. This was the third fastest run of the second leg, bringing her overall up to fifth, with a total time of 1:50.69.
Laura Deas after the race said, “That’s a really good opener to the season. It gives me a platform to push on from. I want to be in the top six consistently and be challenging for medals.
“I left myself a lot to do after the first run, but I was really pleased with my push starts and with the way I pulled my way back into contention in the second run.”
The race overall was won by Janine Flock of Austria completing her two runs in 1:50.13. This left Laura just short of 0.56 seconds of touching that gold medal.
The second race in Park City, Utah USA saw Laura claim yet another fifth place finish, with Lizzie Yarnold settling for a disappointing eight. Laura produced the joint quickest run of the day in the second run and saw her just 16 hundredths of a second outside the medals.
After heavy snowfall saw the race postponed from the scheduled spot of Friday night, she clocked an overall time of 1 minute 40.88 seconds, with her second heat effort of 50.16 seconds only equalled by Russian race winner, Elena Nikitina.
Next, Laura will continue on through the World Cup races and prepare herself for her hopeful participation in February’s Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Next race sees Laura in Whistler, Canada.