Rush's bobsled slides to disappointing 6th

Bob Mackin, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:16 PM ET

WHISTLER, B.C. – Canada’s medal streak at the season-opening bobsled and skeleton world cup ended Saturday when Saskatoon-born pilot Lyndon Rush’s four-man bobsled finished a disappointing sixth overall.

Rush’s quartet slid to seventh on its first run at the Whistler Sliding Centre but had the fourth best time in the second heat for a combined one-minute, 43.26-second time.

“The load in the sled wasn’t real crisp and I messed up corner six and it didn’t help us accelerate down the track,” said Rush, who piloted Canada to four-man bronze in February’s Olympics. “It’s a package thing, we’ve got to keep working. We’re not good enough.”

Rush didn’t leave Whistler empty-handed. Along with brakeman Neville Wright of Edmonton, he shared silver with a German duo in Thursday’s two-man race.

Reigning Olympic champion Steven Holcomb of the United States won both heats with a 1:42.84 total time.

“His crew outstarts the field, their velocity is on a different level,” Rush said. “Their equipment is NASCAR stuff, it’s top notch.”

Maxmilian Arndt’s Germany 3 sled finished 0.17 behind Holcomb for silver. Bronze went to Manuel Machata’s Germany 2.

The Canada 3 sled steered by Calgary’s Chris Gudzowsky was 11th in 1:47.91. Canada 2 flipped on the first run and was deemed unsafe by head coach Tom De La Hunty. De La Hunty said the crew was “ready, willing and able” to start the second heat, but the body of the sled beside Whistler pilot Alex Torbert had split and could have caused the pilot serious injury.

The highlight of the three-day meet was Olympic skeleton champion Jon Montgomery’s Friday win. The Russell, Man. slider also won the 2009 Whistler world cup. Skeleton’s Mellisa Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta. put her fifth place Olympic result behind her when she won women’s silver on Thursday.

Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries and Edmonton rookie Heather Hughes slid to bronze in women’s bobsled on Friday.

The tour moves to Calgary where competition begins Thursday.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca


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