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Canada’s Cynthia Appiah Slides To Monobob Bronze At Beijing Olympic Test Event

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Cynthia Appiah of Toronto gave fans a glimpse of her potential on the bobsleigh track in Beijing if given the opportunity to return for Olympic competition in February.

On Monday, the 31-year-old blazed to a two-run time of two minutes 10.46 seconds in the Chinese city for third place in women’s monobob at a Winter Games test event.

“I am really happy with my performance but definitely hungry for more,” Appiah told Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton after her first career podium finish as a pilot at the elite level.

“I’m loving this track because it is very unique. It’s a very hard track to describe because I don’t think there is really anything like it in the world.”

Monobob will make its Olympic debut at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre.

Appiah, who placed fifth at the world championships last season, admitted to making a costly mistake midway down the 16-corner track on her second run that caused her to lose time and dropped her to third position from second.

The former brakeman is set to compete full-time on the World Cup circuit this season.

Germany’s Mariama Jamanka won Monday’s competition in 2:10.11 ahead of Switzerland’s Melanie Hasler (2:10.19).

Appiah’s teammate, Christine De Bruin, climbed three spots in her final run to finish fourth in 2:10.54, the two-time world medallist’s best-ever monobob result on the Beijing track.

“I am super happy with how things went today, especially since I finished last in my first monobob race last season. I’m really starting to like this whole monobob thing,” laughed the 32-year-old from Stony Plain, Alta.

“This is my best result by far, and given that it is on the Olympic track, gets me very excited for this upcoming World Cup season.”

Germans victorious in 2-man bobsleigh

On the men’s side, Justin Kripps of Summerland, B.C., and Cam Stones of Whitby, Ont., were fourth in Monday’s two-man bobsleigh event.

Steady in both heats, Kripps finished 6-100ths of a second off the medal podium in a combined time of 2:00.95.

“I thought we had a good performance today. It was fun to be racing again and I really like the track here,” said Kripps, the reigning two-man Olympic champion. “This track has some very technical sections, and you have to be very precise to be fast here.

“I thought Cam and I pushed well, and my drives were pretty good. I made a couple of mistakes, but I’m happy with the progress we’ve made this trip.”

Germany’ Francesco Friedrich, who tied Kripps for Olympic gold in 2018, joined forces with Alexander Roediger to take top spot in 2:00.80. Great Britain’s Brad Hall and Greg Cackett were second at 2:00.87, followed by Russian tandem Rostislav Gaitiukevich and Mikhail Mordasov (2:00.89).

Calgary’s Chris Spring was 14th in 2:01.72, splitting his two runs between Ottawa’s Mike Evelyn and former Canadian Football League receiver, Sam Giguere of Sherbrooke, Que., on the brakes.

Calgary duo Taylor Austin and Dan Sunderland were 19th in 2:02.36.

Maier top Canadian in 13th in skeleton

Calgary’s Elisabeth Maier clocked 2:08.56 in skeleton to finish as top Canadian in 13th, nine spots in front of Jane Channell of North Vancouver, B.C., who stopped the clock in 2:10.22.

Tina Hermann of Germany led the women’s field in 2:06.15.

In the men’s race, Calgary’s Blake Enzie was 15th after the opening run but dropped to 23rd after struggling in his final heat, finishing in 2:07.29.

Germany’s Alexander Gassner posted a winning time of 2:03.26.