Top 6 x 2 for British women

Top 6 x 2 for British women

Great Britain had two women on the wider podium of the Skeleton World Championships for the first time since 2013 as Tabby Stoecker placed fourth and Amelia Coltman sixth on Friday afternoon.

Stoecker missed a medal by just two hundredths of a second, with Coltman only 0.09 seconds from bronze.

Stoecker sat second overnight in Winterberg, just three hundredths adrift of Canada’s 19-year-old race winner, Hallie Clark, but she slipped to fourth after the third run, 0.16 seconds back. A fine fourth and final run brought her back to the brink of a medal but she was pipped to bronze by Germany’s reigning Olympic Champion, Hannah Neise, on home ice.

It was the closest a British female has come to a medal since double Olympic Champion Lizzy Yarnold won bronze in Konigssee in 2017 and the team’s best result since Lizzy was Yarnold was first, Laura Deas seventh and Rose McGrandle ninth in Winterberg in 2015. The last time GB had two women in the top six was when Yarnold took bronze in Shelley Rudman’s World title triumph in St Moritz 11 seasons ago.

Stoecker, a former gymnast and trapeze artist competing in just her second World Championships having being 23rd in St Moritz last season, clocked an overall time of 3 minutes 51.55 seconds. She finished 0.28 seconds behind Clarke and just six hundredths behind European Champion Kim Meylemans who became Belgium’s first ever World Championship medalist in either men’s or women’s skeleton with silver.

"This year’s World Champs was so exciting to be a part of and I’m sure it was exciting to watch, too. It was a super, super close race and there was a really high standard in the field," said Stoecker.

"I really enjoyed competing at this level and on this stage. There was a really great atmosphere in the team.

To come fourth at just my second World Championships and to be just shy of the podium, I’m really proud of myself."

Coltman came down just behind her team mate in 3.51.62 for an astonishing result at her maiden global championships. 

The 27-year-old was eighth at halfway but a superb third heat in which she was third fastest overall saw her jump up two spots and move to with 15 hundredths off the medals ahead of the final run.

She narrowed that gap even further by the close thanks to the fourth quickest time of Run 4, eventually finishing within a whisker of fifth place, just 0.02 seconds behind 2017 World Champion Jacqueline Pfeifer, one of the sport’s most decorated sliders, on her home track.

Both Coltman and Stoecker will be in action again tomorrow in the Skeleton Mixed Team race but attention this afternoon now turns to Matt Weston’s attempts to retain his World Championship crown in the men’s competition.

The final two heats of the men’s race begin at 3pm today, with Weston currently in silver medal position after the first two runs. The 2023 champion is just 0.03 seconds behind overnight leader Christopher Grotheer, the reigning Olympic Champion and the only man above Weston in the current world rankings. Marcus Wyatt is in sixth spot and Craig Thompson eighth.