Another top 8 for Wyatt

Another top 8 for Wyatt

Marcus Wyatt led the British Skeleton challenge with an eighth-place finish in the sixth World Cup race of the season in St Moritz on Friday.

Wyatt clocked a time of 2 minutes 18.10 seconds on the longest course on the sliding circuit to make it three top eight finishes in his four World Cup appearances so far this term.

The 29-year-old, who won World Cup bronze in Sigulda in November, improved significantly on his 13th place effort in Winterberg last weekend as we enter the final few weeks of the top-tier calendar.

Wyatt sat 10th at halfway but was the joint second quickest starter in the second run on his way to jumping up two spots in the final standings. 

Team-mate Craig Thompson was the third fastest starter in the first heat, eventually finishing 14th overall in a time of 2 minutes 18.91 seconds in his first World Cup appearance in St Moritz.

The 28-year-old former footballer had only raced at the spiritual home of sliding on one previous occasion - a seventh place showing in Europa Cup competition back in January 2017.

Fellow Brit Laurence Bostock was making just his second-ever World Cup appearance and his first of the current campaign. The 21-year-old, who became the nation’s youngest male slider on the World Cup circuit when he placed 23rd at the same venue this time last year, finished 21st in the 28-strong field. 

Bostock was all set to make the second heat in a time of 1 minute 9.74 seconds until Swiss slider Jean Jacques Buff took a top 20 spot away from him on the 28th and final trip down the track in Run 1.

In the women’s race, Ashleigh Pittaway was the leading Brit as she finished 12th in a time of 2 minutes 22.98 seconds.

The 2016 Youth Olympic Champion produced the 10th quickest time in Run 2 but eventually missed a top 10 spot overall by six hundredths of a second. Pittaway, who is known more for her sliding ability than her fast starts, was particularly impressive at the top of the track as she clocked the eighth quickest start time in Run 1 and the sixth fastest in Run 2.

Olympic bronze medalist Laura Deas finished 14th overall after slipping from 11th at halfway but her start times were a huge positive to take into the next two races in Konigsssee and Igls and the end of season World Championships in Altenberg in February. Deas was the fastest starter in Run 2 with a time of 5.28 seconds, having been the second quickest in Run 1.

Madelaine Smith placed 16th in the field of 21 in a time of 2 minutes 24.02 seconds - an improvement of two places on last week’s race in Winterberg.