Weston wins bronze in Altenberg

Weston wins bronze in Altenberg

Matt Weston won World cup bronze in Altenberg on Friday afternoon in the final race before next week’s World Championships.

Having won here twice last season, Weston looked set to make it three wins in a row on the notoriously tricky German track as he led at halfway but, with the ice deteriorating with each sled that went before him, the 26-year-old had to settle for third place behind China’s Zheng Yin and home favourite Christopher Grotheer.

Weston clocked a combined time of 1 minute 52.61 seconds to finish 12 hundredths of a second shy of Yin and 0.09 behind reigning Olympic Champion and current World Cup points leader Grotheer.

The result sees him stay second in the Overall World Cup standings with one circuit race remaining in Lake Placid in the United States next month.

Marcus Wyatt, who won the European Championship title in Sigulda a fortnight ago, finished seventh in a time of 1 minute 52.94 seconds. The 32-year-old former American Footballer missed out on a wider podium (top six) place by five hundredths of a second.

Jacob Salisbury - who set a World Cup personal best with a fifth-pace finish in Sigulda - was 16th, with Craig Thompson 19th in a 34-strong field.

Salisbury maintained his halfway position after clocking 1.53.96 but Thompson dropped four spots from 15th as he finished in 1.54.51.

Matt Altenberg 3rd 24 

Matt Weston made the podium again in Altenberg

In the women’s race, Tabby Stoecker and Amelia Coltman went third and sixth quickest respectively in the second run but frustrating first heats meant they finished 10th and 13th overall in times of 1 minute 57.06 and 1.57.31.

Stoecker sat 12th after Run 1 before bettering her first attempt time of 58.88 by seventh tenths of a second in Run 2, while Coltman was 63 hundredths faster second time around.

Freya Tarbit finished 20th in a time of 1.57.87. That result means Tarbit misses out on the chance to compete at her first World Championships as Alessandra Fumagalli finished 15th to secure a third quota place for Italy and leave Great Britain with just the two women’s spots in Winterberg.

Tarbit had been on track to finish above Fumagalli after Run 1 but the Italian produced a stunning second heat in which she was the joint quickest of all 25 athletes.

Germany’s Tina Hermann took gold for the fifth successive time in Altenberg, with the reigning Overall World Cup Champion having also won here twice in 2023 and twice in 2021. The 31-year-old has only twice missed a medal in 10 races at her home track and has never finished worse than fourth since her first World Cup start in Altenberg in 2015.

Hermann’s team-mate, Susanne Kreher took silver and America’s Mystique Ro bronze. Kimberley Bos of the Netherlands still leads the overall standings after finishing fifth, with Hermann jumping up to third behind Belgium’s Kim Meylemans.

With World Championship preparation in mind, the British team opted out of this evening’s Team race and are instead moving on to Winterberg for the biggest event of the year. The four-heat individual men’s and women’s races take place on Thursday and Friday, with the team competition scheduled for Saturday.

While there is World Cup bobsleigh competition taking place in Altenberg tomorrow and Sunday, there are no British crews in action. Pilots Adele Nicoll, Nikki McSweeney, Adam Baird and John Stanbridge have all been continuing their World Championship preparations elsewhere, while Brad Hall and his crew withdrew in solidarity with the Swiss Federation following a serious accident involving one of their teams earlier in the week.