Stoecker wins sensational gold

Stoecker wins sensational gold

Tabby Stoecker won a sensational World Cup Skeleton gold in just her second start on Friday morning.

The 23-year-old beat a 31-strong field in France to secure Great Britain’s first women’s World Cup gold since Laura Deas won in Altenberg eight years ago.

Stoecker only had 13 international appearances at any level to her name prior to today’s race and had featured in a World Cup competition just once before when she finished 12th in Winterberg last season.

A former gymnast and acrobat from London, Stoecker clocked a combined time of 2 minutes 5.13 seconds to see off the likes of current World Cup Champion and four-time World Champion Tina Hermann, reigning Olympic Champion Hannah Neise and 2023 World Championship silver medalist and 2022 Olympic bronze medal winner Kimberley Bos in La Plagne.

The back-to-back Junior World Championship silver medalist and reigning Junior European Champion was the fastest starter in each heat and sat second behind Bos at halfway before eventually beating the Dutch slider by 13 hundredths of a second. America’s Mystique Ro finished seventh hundredths adrift of Stoecker to take silver, with German duo Jacqueline Pfeifer and Neise completing the top five.

“It’s an amazing feeling! I can’t stop smiling!” said Stoecker, who joins Deas, double Olympic Champion Lizzy Yarnold; 2006 Olympic silver medalist Shelley Rudman; and 2002 Olympic bronze medalist Alex Coomber in taking top spot in a women’s World Cup competition.

I can’t quite believe it, to be honest with you! I wasn’t sure what to expect today so I was pretty emotional at the finish. To win gold in my second ever World cup race just completely astounded me.

“I knew I had put down some solid training runs but I never imagined that I’d take gold against such a great field.

“To see the World Cup team winning medals last year was amazing so to be doing that myself today is pretty special. Thanks to all the team who have helped make this happen.”

Stoecker becomes the sixth British slider to win a World Cup or World Championship medal over the past 12 months after GB enjoyed a stellar season last time when they won no fewer than 13 World Cup medals and three more at the World Champs.

“It’s a fantastic result for Tabby, absolutely outstanding,” said British Skeleton’s Performance Director, Natalie Dunman.

“Tabby and the team have worked really hard this week and she and the coaches should be really proud.

To win a gold medal in just her second World Cup race at this level is almost unheard of and it shows how much potential Tabby has in this sport.

“She won’t be getting carried away but this is a great step forward for her.”

Fellow Brits Freya Tarbit and Amelia Coltman were 14th and 20th respectively, with the pair only having a 

combined total of five World Cup races behind them.

Tarbit recorded a two-run time of 2 minutes 6.25 seconds, while Coltman came down in 2.06.69.

British World Champion Matt Weston and team mates Jacob Salisbury, Craig Thompson and Marcus Wyatt compete in the men’s race at 12.25pm GMT.