Elisabeth Vathje captured her first career Crystal Globe for finishing third place in the Overall World Cup skeleton standings following a ninth-place finish at the last race of the season in Konigssee, Germany on Friday.
The 23-year-old Calgarian, who clocked a ninth-place time of 1:45.41 in Konigssee, slid to three silvers and one bronze medal during the Olympic season en route to reaching the overall podium.
“It is pretty cool to win my first ever globe,” said Vathje “It is even cooler that a Canadian has won the bronze globe in each of the last three years which shows the strength and depth of our program.”
Ottawa’s Mirela Rahneva finished third overall last year, while Jane Channell of North Vancouver, was the first Canadian to wrap her hands around the crystal hardware in 2016.
The 29-year-old Channell led the Canadian charge on Friday with a sixth-place finish with a combined time of 1:44.95 on a long and snowy day in Konigssee where the women’s race was originally cancelled and then rescheduled to later in the day.
After the two Canadians – Vathje and Channell – had originally taken their first runs, it appeared race officials were going to make it a one-run race. Officials then rescheduled the race for after the men’s competition, forcing the Canucks were forced to prep their sleds again and get focused on two more runs.
“It was a bit overwhelming. The weather wasn’t cooperating all day and the snow was on and off, so it played with me mentally. The start groove was fast so being able to have a quick getaway was key for me to build speed and a buffer down the track,” said Channell, who was tied for fifth after the opening heat with Lizzy Yarnold.
“After the first run I knew I left a lot of time on the track with a few mistakes that I knew I could fix for run two. Lizzy had a heater of a run in the second heat. My goal was to have a cleaner second run. I maintained my spot even though I lost a ranking.”
Channell finished fifth in the overall World Cup standings, thanks to a silver medal in Whistler and four, sixth-place finishes.
“Finishing fifth overall feels great, but what is event more incredible is Elisabeth finishing third. All three of us girls finished in the top-10 which is amazing. To have such strong teammates, and competition pushing me to become the best I can be, I feel like the three of us are where we want to be.”
Mirela Rahneva, who did not race on Friday, placed eighth in the overall standings.
Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling won the women’s race with a time of 1:44.03. Tina Hermann, also of Germany, slid to the silver medal at 1:44.21. Austria’s Janine Flock claimed the bronze at 1:44.30.
In the men’s race, Kevin Boyer of Sherwood Park, Alta., missed matching his career-best World Cup finish by one spot after sliding to 13th with a time of 1:43.33 to finish as the top Canadian.
Calgary’s Barrett Martineau posted a 16th-place time of 1:43.64, while Dave Greszczyszyn, of Brampton, Ont., placed 18h at 1:43.96. The leader of the men’s team finished 11h in the overall standings, highlighted by his first career bronze medal on the World Cup.
Germany’s Axel Jungk won the men’s race at 1:41.61. Latvia’s Martins Dukurs was second with a time of 1:41.63, while his brother, Tomass, claimed the bronze with a time of 1:41.84.
The BMW IBSF World Cup continues on Saturday with the men’s two-man and women’s bobsleigh races.