Stoecker second at halfway

Stoecker second at halfway

Tabby Stoecker sits in silver medal position at the halfway stage of the Women’s Skeleton World Championships in Winterberg.

Stoecker is competing in just her second World Championships having being 23rd in St Moritz last season but the 23-year-old is only three hundredths of a second behind the race leader after two of the four runs.

The former gymnast and trapeze artist clocked a combined time of 1 minute 57.20 seconds, moving up from third after the first run to second overnight ahead of tomorrow’s final two heats.

If Stoecker maintains a medal position on Friday, she will become the country’s first female medalist since double Olympic Champion Lizzy Yarnold in 2017, while if she can move up a further spot, she would join Kristan Bromley, Shelley Rudman, Matt Weston and Yarnold as GB’s only Skeleton World Champions.

Fellow Brit Amelia Coltman finished Day 1 in eighth-place, 0.24 seconds back from Canada’s Hallie Clarke at the top of the leaderboard.

Coltman, who is making her World Championship debut, was fifth quickest in Run 1 and is still within touching distance of a medal after Run 2 despite having only 10 World Cup appearances to her name so far.

The 27-year-old won European Championship bronze in Sigulda earlier this month and was 13th in the most recent World Cup competition in Altenberg last week.

Germany’s reigning Olympic Champion Hannah Neise is in bronze medal position, 0.03 seconds shy of Stoecker, with Belgium’s Kim Meylemans a further three hundredths back.

World No1, Kimberley Bos of the Netherlands, led after the first run but, with the ice slowing and after issues securing her helmet, could only come down 21st fastest in Run 2 as she dropped to 11th overall.

Reigning champion Susanne Kreher is fifth, with 2017 World Champion Jacqueline Pfeifer making it three Germans in the top six on their home ice.

The race concludes tomorrow afternoon, with Run 3 scheduled to start at 11am and Run 4 following after a short break.

The men’s competition gets underway at 1pm GMT today, with defending champion Matt Weston, European Champion Marcus Wyatt and Craig Thompson all going for GB.

This year’s World Championships take place in Winterberg, Germany from February 22nd - March 3rd, with the schedule as follows:

Thurs 22 Feb
Women's Skeleton Heats 1&2 9am
Men's Skeleton Heats 1&2 1pm

Fri 23 Feb
Women's Skeleton Heats 3&4 11am
Men's Skeleton Heats 3&4 3pm

Sat 24 Feb
Women's Monobob Heats 1&2 8am
2-man Bobsleigh Heats 1&2 12pm
Skeleton Mixed Team Competition 4pm

Sun 25 Feb
Women's Monobob Heats 3&4 8.15am
2-man Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 12.15pm

Fri 1 Mar
Women's Bobsleigh Heats 1&2 2pm

Sat 2 Mar
4-man Bobsleigh Heats 1&2 9am
Women's Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 1.30pm

Sun 3 Mar
4-man Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 1pm

All races will be shown live on the IBSF YouTube channel and website