Winter sports blog: Rudman wins skeleton gold at World Championship
Andrew Magee brings us the latest news and views from the snow and ice on the winter sports circuit
While the rest of the world has been caught up with the deadline day drama of David Beckham’s move to Paris Saint-Germain or rocked by Beyonce’s thighs and an electrifying Super Bowl (minus the electricity), the winter sports season continues to provide great news for British fans.
Here’s a look at the major action from the past week, which pleasingly has a distinctly patriotic feel.
Reigning overall World Cup champion Shelley Rudman added another trophy to her impressive collection by winning her first World Championship gold in the skeleton at St Moritz last week. In doing so, she became the first-ever British woman to win gold at a world championship and the first Brit to win a world title since her partner Kristan Bromley won the men’s event in 2008. The 31-year-old beat American Noelle Pikus-Pace into second place by 0.57s, with Canada’s Sarah Reid in third.
Rudman said: “I’m so happy because this was the one medal in my sport I hadn’t won. The world title was always my No 1 priority this year. I had quite a good cushion going into my final two runs but I am experienced enough to know it was nowhere near over. I spent all last night knowing just one mistake could put me out of the medals.”
The result puts her in a fine position for next year’s winter Olympics in Sochi. Her previous best was a silver medal in 2006 in Turin, and she followed that with sixth in Vancouver in 2010, behind fellow Brit Amy Williams, who won the gold.
Short track skating
Another Brit and another record. Elise Christie has become Britain’s first ever World Cup champion over 1000m after winning a silver medal in Sochi. The result means Christie will maintain her number one ranking in the overall standings and cannot be caught at the final event of the season in Germany. Christie completed a fine few days with a bronze medal in the 1500m event to take her total medal haul for the season to seven. Christie has become champion after securing five podium finishes and one win, in Japan in December.
Rising freestyle skier James Woods continued his upward trajectory with a bronze medal at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado. The 21-year-old qualified for the final in first place but was ultimately beaten by American Nick Goepper and Swede Henrik Harlaut. His tally of 92.00 was behind Harlaut’s (92.66) and winner Goepper (94.00).
We’ve already seen a video of snowboarding star Shaun White freshly shorn of his locks this year, but he has released another video in his more natural environment. As well as winning an extraordinary 13th X Games gold, he was strapped up with a selection of cameras and sent down the halfpipe course. Suffice to say, the footage is pretty cool.