Trust key to Wyatt's bronze
Marcus Wyatt says trust was at the centre of his World Cup medal in Park City on Thursday night.
The 30-year-old backed up last week’s race win in Whistler with another podium place in New York State as his - and the team’s - sensational start to the season continued.
Wyatt headed to the US in high spirits after a first ever World Cup gold but he admits that he initially struggled to get to grips with a track he had only raced at once before. That solitary outing came almost six years ago in lower-level North American Cup competition and it meant Wyatt didn’t really know what to expect this week.
A tough time on the track prior to race day meant he was left asking questions two days before competition but chatting to his coaches, sharing ideas and agreeing on a process they all felt could work ultimately led to a change in fortunes and another top tier medal.
“I’m super happy with how race day went: I’d struggled during the second day of official training so I sat down with the coaches that night and went over what was going wrong,” said Wyatt.
We knew what we needed to change but it can be quite stressful when you have to pull it out of the bag on race day. I was trying new lines but I trusted the coaches and trusted that those lines would work.
“It’s tough trying to execute on race day but doing that having not done it before makes it even tougher. I was a little stressed before the race but I believed that I could go out there and perform - and that’s what I was able to do.
“I was particularly happy with my second run - really happy with how that one went. The first one was a solid run but to jump up into the medals was great. As soon as I crossed the finish line and saw the time, I knew I had a good chance of getting a medal.”
Marcus Wyatt remains top of the world rankings
A second successive medal is a big confidence boost but it’s not the only benefit of that excellent effort last night: the result means Wyatt remains at the top of the World Cup standings ahead of the third and final race before the Christmas break.
Wyatt’s first and third means he has 425 points to sit five clear of South Korea’s double silver medalist Seunggi Jung and 16 ahead of Germany’s reigning Olympic and World Champion Christopher Grotheer, who won yesterday’s race having finished fifth in Whistler.
“I held on to the World Cup leader’s bib for the next race as well so that’s really special,” added Wyatt, whose previous season’s best finish in the rankings is sixth in 2018/19.
To have earnt it in week one and to have held it is a great feeling. It’s a strong field so I’m super proud to be able to wear that bib again in Lake Placid.
“Placid is a track that I’ve been to a lot so that’s a nice change after two tricky weeks at tracks I’d not had much experience on in Whistler and Park City. It’ll be another tough test but I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice out there and I’m aiming for another strong result.”