PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — Canada's Alysia Rissling and Cynthia Appiah ended their rookie season on the women's World Cup bobsled circuit on a high note with a bronze-medal win on Saturday.
Rookie pilot Nick Poloniato, from Hamilton, teamed up with veteran Lascelles Brown to finish a career-best fourth in the men's two-man race.
Edmonton's Rissling and Toronto's Appiah rocked fast starts and near perfect driving on the tricky 16-corner Olympic Track at the Alpensia Sliding Centre to win their first World Cup medal together at the season-ending race, clocking a third-place time of one minutes 44.06 seconds.
"You always go to bed wishing you have a chance to medal, but whether it is realistic or not is a different story," said Rissling. "Cynthia and I went into this race with high expectations of our ourselves. We were pushing fast in training and considering it's the last race of the year, our bodies felt good. Over the next seven months I'm going make sure I do everything I can throughout the summer so I'm prepared when I get to this spot again in February."
Rissling and Appiah, showed the determination of the sports top veterans while looking for more despite sitting one spot off the podium after putting down the fourth fastest start time at 5.37 in their first descent down the world's newest icy chute.
"We were a bit disappointed with our first push so we told each other to lay it all out there for the last run of the season," said Rissling. They certainly did. The Canadian duo put down the third-fastest second-run start time at 5.33 and Rissling got the sled down the track in the second fastest down time at 51.96 to secure the bronze medal.
The Canadians finished just behind a dynamic one-two American threat. Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans secured the overall World Cup title after winning the race with a time of 1:43.65. Elana Meyers Taylor and Lolo Jones were second at 1:43.80.
On the men's side, the 29-year-old Poloniato, teamed up with Brown for a career-best fourth-place finish with a two-run time of 1:41.21, thanks to a lightening-quick second run.
Poloniato led all three Canadian men's sleds into the top-10. Calgary's Chris Spring and Neville Wright slid to seventh place with a time of 1:41.34. Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and Jesse Lumsden, of Burlington, Ont., rebounded after a difficult opening run to post the second-fastest time in the final heat to secure eighth spot overall, clocking-in at 1:41.35.
Germany's Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis won the test event in Korea with a time of 1:40.82. Latvia's Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis slid to the silver medal at 1:41.12, while Germany's Johannes Lochner and Joshua Bluhm claimed the final step of the men's podium with a time of 1:41.16.
The Canadian Press