Weston wins World Championships
Matt Weston is the new men’s skeleton World Champion after another stunning performance in St Moritz.
Weston became just the second British man to win a global title as he triumphed in the season showpiece in Switzerland fully 15 years after Kristan Bromley won in Altenberg in 2008.
Weston, who won successive World Cup races in Altenberg over the past two weekends, took top spot by a staggering 1.79 seconds to record the biggest winning margin since the second of new coach Martins Dukurs’ six World Championship wins in 2012.
The 25-year-old clocked a combined time of 4 minutes 28.71 seconds at the spiritual home of sliding to finish well clear of Italy’s Amedeo Bagnis and South Korea’s Seunggi Jung.
Team-mate Craig Thompson missed a medal by a heartbreaking hundredth of a second in a time of 4.31.18, with fellow Brit Marcus Wyatt in fifth in 4.31.38, making it the most successful men’s race ever for the British team. Prior to today, Great Britain had only ever had two men in the top ten at a World Championships on two occasions (2008 and 2013) yet all three made the wider podium in a field of 36 sliders.
“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s an absolute dream to be World Champion,” said Weston, who becomes only the third British man to medal at a World Championships 14 years after Adam Pengilly won silver in Lake Placid.
“I can’t really describe it, to be honest. It’s pretty special!
“I knew that I had a good chance after winning the last two World Cups in Altenberg but to actually come here and make it a reality is incredible.
“To do it at the birthplace of the sport as well makes it even more memorable.
“I’m gutted for Craig that he just missed bronze but it’s been a brilliant week for all of us - three in the top five is awesome.
“It’s been a brilliant season so far but this is something else.“
Matt Weston is the first British World Champ since Lizzy Yarnold in 2015
Weston led after each of the four runs, extending his advantage on each occasion and never looking in danger of letting gold slip from his grasp.
The former England youth international in taekwondo had only featured in two World Championships before this week, finishing 23rd in 2021 after a crash midway through and 15th in 2020, and he was 16th at the Beijing Olympics in February, but he built on a 1.13 second lead overnight to secure his sixth top-tier medal of the season.
British Skeleton have now taken their World Cup and World Championship medal tally to ten this season, with Weston winning four golds and two bronze since November.
“Matt’s performance was incredible. We’re all absolutely delighted for him,” said British Skeleton’s Performance Director, Natalie Dunman.
“He’s produced some outstanding performances this season and he’s done it again on the big stage. He and the team have worked so hard to make this happen. He was brilliant in all four runs.
“To have three Brits in the top five is a huge achievement. That’s a massive statement that the team have made here today. Craig came so, so close to a medal and he and Marcus have been brilliant all week. We’re very proud of what all three of them have produced.”
In the women’s race, Laura Deas placed ninth of 32 athletes at the same venue.
Deas, who won Olympic bronze in PyeongChang five years ago, moved up from tenth overnight in the seventh World Championship appearance of her career.
The 34-year-old finished in a time of 4 minutes 36.05 seconds to record her best World Championship result since she was seventh on her debut in Winterberg in 2015.
Brogan Crowley came 18th, two years after she finished 23rd in her only other appearance at a World Championships.
The 30-year-old clocked 4.38.79, moving up a spot in the final run having sat 19th after three heats.
Tabby Stoecker finished 23rd, just missing out on a fourth run reserved for the top 20 sliders after clocking a three-run time of 3 minutes 30.38 seconds.
Stoecker, who was competing at her first World Championships with only a single World Cup appearance to her name, was the fastest starter in the whole field in Runs 1 and 2 but difficulties early on in Run 3 saw her slip back from 20th position overnight.
Germany’s Susanne Kreher won gold by the tiniest of margins, beating Olympic bronze medalist Kimberley Bos of the Netherlands by one hundredth of a second. Canada’s Mirela Rahneva pipped Austria’s Janine Flock to bronze by 0.04 seconds.
The skeleton action concludes with the team event on Sunday at 7am GMT. The race features one male and one female slider racing one run each and GB are expected to field the maximum number of two teams. The event featured at the last two World Championships and is set to become an Olympic sport in 2026.
Bobsleigh takes centre stage tomorrow as Brad Hall and Taylor Lawrence go for GB in the 2-man from mid-day.