Double medal in men's World Cup
Great Britain tasted double medal success in the men’s World Cup Skeleton in France on Friday as Matt Weston won silver and Marcus Wyatt bronze in La Plagne.
There were three Brits in the top five as Craig Thompson finished fifth just a few hours after Tabby Stoecker won gold in the women’s race at the same venue.
Reigning World Champion Weston was third at halfway before producing the fastest time of Run 2 to claim the 10th medal of his World Cup career.
Wyatt, who finished one place behind Weston in third in the Overall World Cup standings last season, was fifth after Run 1 but second only to his team-mate in Run 2 to tie with Olympic Champion Christopher Grotheer for bronze.
Thompson was fourth and then fifth quickest to finish comfortably ahead of Italy’s World Championship silver medalist, Amedeo Bagnis, on the wider podium.
“I’m really happy to have medalled when I wasn’t that happy with my performance. That shows how strong we are,” said Weston, who won seven World Cup medals last season but was 10th in the season opener in Beijing in November.
“I was training better than I raced so I’m actually a bit disappointed with the result, to be honest with you. It’s a tough track to be consistent on.
“The fact that Marcus and Craig were right behind is great for the team. I’m really pleased for Tabby, too she was amazing.”
“I’m pretty happy with that result. I’m happy to bounce back with a podium after what was a slightly disappointing first race of the season in Beijing,” added Wyatt.
“I’m pleased with how my push improved from Beijing, too. We weren’t too happy with it there so we tweaked a couple of technical things when we came back to the UK and it was much better here.
There’s still work to do but it was a nice feeling to be back on the podium and hopefully I can go from strength to strength over the next few races before and after Christmas.
“It was a great result for the team as a whole. I’m super happy for Tabby first of all and also for Matt and Craig, too. To have British men and women up there fighting for medals is great to see.”
Today’s triple medal success across the men’s and women’s races mean the British Skeleton team have now won 19 medals at the last 11 competitions at World Cup or World Championship level.
Stoecker’s win this morning was the first time Great Britain had won gold in a Women’s World Cup event since 2015, although both Laura Deas and Brogan Crowley made the podium last season.
“Everyone has worked really hard over the summer so it’s great to start the European World Cup races with some strong results,” said British Skeleton’s Performance Director, Natalie Dunman.
To have three Brits in the top five of a 32-strong World Cup field shows the depth we’ve built in the team and that we have a whole group of athletes that can be compete with and beat the best in the world. They - and their coaches and support team - all deserve a huge amount of credit.
“It’s been a really good day for the whole team with Tabby winning gold earlier. It sets us up nicely for the rest of the season and for our main target, the World Championships in Winterberg in February.”
With pilot Brad Hall and his crew recovering from injury, there is no British presence in Saturday or Sunday’s bobsleigh racing.
The next World Cup takes place in Igls, Austria a week today, before the circuit takes a break until January 12.