Canada’s Rahneva is 9th at the women’s skeleton halfway mark

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Australia’s Jaclyn Narracott is on course halfway through the women’s skeleton on Friday to become the first female sled outside of Europe and North America to medal in the event as the sun sets on the British domination of the event.

After the first of four runs on the Yanqing National Sliding track, Canadian Mirela Rahneva was in first place, two hundredths of a second ahead of Narcott.

Despite a strong start in the second moto, the Bulgarian-born Canadian from Ottawa struggled in the final section of the course, losing her line and dropping to ninth place midway through the race.

Rahneva, 33, has been on the IBSF World Cup podium twice in 2021-22, slipping to bronze medals in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Winterberg, Germany. In both of those races, she had a faster second run than the first, proving she can defend herself from a deficit.

After two Olympic races, she is 0.60 seconds off the podium.

WATCH | Canada’s Rahneva completes the 1st fastest run in the skeleton heats:

Ottawa’s Rahneva is fastest in 1st run, but drops to 9th halfway through Olympic skeleton event

Mirela Rahneva of Ottawa was in first place after the first run of the women’s skeleton but fell back to ninth, 0.83 seconds behind leader Jaclyn Narracott of Australia after the second of four runs. The third and fourth rounds will take place on Saturday evening in Beijing. 4:05

World Cup races combine the time of two races, while the Olympics feature four.

His Canadian colleague Jane Channell. kept pace with the peloton in moto one, just 0.56 seconds slower than Rahnevas’ lead. However, the Burnaby, BC native struggled in the second run, falling back a full second to sit 1.56 seconds off the lead and in 17th place.

Narraccott credited having her husband with her in Beijing helped her to be on top form, although with Germany’s Hannah Neise and Tina Hermann hot on her heels the race was far from over. .

It was also a great start for 19-year-old Chinese Zhao Dan, the competition’s youngest slider, who hadn’t even tried the sport four years ago at the last Olympic Games. She is only in fourth place.

“This field is ridiculously competitive, so to be at the top is phenomenal,” said Narraccott, who finished 16th in Pyeongyang four years ago.

“I have my husband and my coach by my side, whereas all the years we have done it through Facetime,” she said, speaking to reporters after the race.

She is married to Britain’s Dom Parsons, who won the bronze medal in the men’s skeleton event in South Korea.

The pair were often apart as Narraccott raced for much of the final World Cup season in Europe, becoming the first Australian to win in one of the events at St Moritz last month.

“To have him by my side, he sees the ice that I see, we can do real-time video and to have that support with me is huge.”

“It would be absolutely unreal” for the sport in Australia if she repeated her success in the final of the event tomorrow night, she said. “It might actually bring some girls back to the skeleton.”

Germany were unstoppable in the luge events, winning the last of four gold medals available in the team relay on Thursday night. But he never took first place in the skeleton event.

Just 0.21 seconds off second place, Hannah Neise is looking to change that.

“We were here in October and we had good experiences here,” she said of the German squad.

“Especially me, I really liked the track and I feel confident here. So I don’t stress myself out and stay calm and glide, and focus on myself.”

Disappointing race for Britain’s Laura Deas, bronze medalist in Pyeongchang but who is 21st out of 25 after the first half of the competition.

“I can’t tell you right now why the speed wasn’t there. I don’t know. I think I’m proud of myself. I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last four years to get to bouldering. starting today. And I feel like I did exactly what I wanted to do.”

Deas’ mentor and compatriot Lizzy Yarnold won gold in Sochi and Pyeongchang, and followed Britain’s skeleton gold in Vancouver. But the most decorated female skeleton athlete of all time has retired, leaving big shoes to fill.

Britain’s Brogan Crowley was happy with her first Olympic outing, sitting just behind Deas in 22nd.

“It was a step up from training, I have some bits in training but I haven’t been able to put together much so it was definitely progress,” he said. she stated.

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