Germany’s Tina Hermann pulls off huge comeback to win 3rd world skeleton title

Germany’s Tina Hermann pulled off a huge comeback in her final run and won the women’s skeleton world championship for the third time on Saturday.

Hermann was two-thirds of a second behind Switzerland’s Marina Gilardoni going into the fourth and final run of the two-day competition, a huge margin for a sliding sport. But she threw down the fastest run of the event in her finale, Gilardoni was nearly a full second off that pace and the world title was Hermann’s again.

Her winning time was three minutes 54.52 seconds. Gilardoni was second in 3:54.74 and Austria’s Janine Flock was third in 3:55.73.

Season-best finish for Channell

Jane Channell of North Vancouver, B.C., finished a season’s best eighth. Third after her first run, a costly mistake dropped the Canadian back to eighth in the second.

“The first run was huge for me,” Channell said. “I thought I could do it. I know my coaches, family and friends knew I could do it, but to actually do it and come down in third means the world to me and validates to me that I can do it.”

WATCH | Tina Hermann comes from behind to win gold: 

Hermann, who started her final heat run in third, set a track record on home soil in Altenberg to top the podium at the IBSF World Championships.  2:05

Hermann’s final run was 57.77 seconds — making her the only woman to crack the 58-second mark out of the 104 runs by 28 competitors during this year’s world championships. She’s the first woman to win back-to-back world titles and the first three-time women’s world champion, after also winning in 2016 and 2019.

Kendall Wesenberg was 10th for the U.S., Megan Henry was 18th and Savannah Graybill was 20th.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to home ice in Lake Placid,” Wesenberg said. “We’ve been on the road since December, and the team has done a great job with being on the road for nine weeks, but we’re ready to be home.”

The U.S. team will return to Lake Placid, New York, for the national championships on March 21-22. Three-time Olympian John Daly, who has not entered any major race since the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, is expected to compete in the men’s nationals as he weighs whether to make a bid at qualifying for a fourth Olympics in 2022.