Germans win skeleton golds; Uhlaender leads US sliders

Sports

Alexander Gassner of Germany during the Men’s Skeleton World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — Tina Hermann of Germany won a World Cup skeleton race on the historic St. Moritz track Friday, and Katie Uhlaender posted the best finish of any U.S. sliding athlete so far this season.

Hermann prevailed with Austria’s Janine Flock finishing second and Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling taking third. Hannah Neise of Germany was fourth, followed by Uhlaender — the four-time Olympian who placed fifth.

Americans did not compete in the first half of the World Cup skeleton, bobsled and luge seasons, remaining home in the U.S. because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and issues with international travel. Kaillie Humphries was sixth in women’s bobsled last weekend, which had been the top U.S. result this winter before Uhlaender’s showing Friday.

The fifth-place finish was Uhlaender’s top World Cup result in nearly eight years, since a silver-medal performance in a World Cup at Sochi, Russia, in 2013.

“Last season I wasn’t sure I wanted to come back fully, but I decided to finish out my career on my own terms,” Uhlaender said. “I felt like myself on my sled this week and got some confidence back.”

In the men’s race, Germany’s Alexander Gassner rallied in the second heat to win by just one-hundredth of a second over Latvia’s Martins Dukurs. Olympic champion Yun Sungbin of South Korea was third, and Austin Florian was 10th to lead the U.S.

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