No skele­ton medal for Hollingsworth

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VAN­COU­VER (CP) — An­other medal chance has slipped through Cana­dian fin­gers.

Mel­lisa Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta., pin­balled through a stretch of track at the Whistler Slid­ing Cen­tre Fri­day on her way to a dis­ap­point­ing fifth-place fin­ish in the women’s skele­ton, nearly a full sec­ond back of gold medal­list Amy Wil­liams of Bri­tain.

Ker­stin Szymkowiak and Anja Hu­ber, both of Ger­many, took sil­ver and bronze.

Amy Gough of Ab­bots­ford, B.C., fin­ished sev­enth in the 19sled field, while Michelle Kelly of Fort St. John, B.C., ended up in 13th. Kelly, 35, slammed into the wall dur­ing her third run and nar­rowly avoided flip­ping off her sled be­fore manag­ing to right the ship and com­plete the course. She ap­peared un­in­jured but shaken as she took her time ex­it­ing the fin­ish area.

It wasn’t the day’s first dis­ap­point­ment in an Olympics that have, at least so far, of­fered Cana­dian fans more grief than great­ness.

The men’s down­hillers were shut out of the su­per-gi­ant slalom, won by Ak­sel Lund Svin­dal of Nor­way.

Amer­i­can ri­vals Bode Miller and An­drew Weibrecht took sil­ver and bronze, ex­tend­ing the U.S. medal count to 20 and putting the cur­rent leaders of both the gold and over­all medal counts even fur­ther out of reach.

Erik Guay of Mon­tTrem­blant, Que., was top Cana­dian in fifth, com­ing in just three one-hun­dredths of a sec­ond off a podium fin­ish.

“It’s tough to swal­low,” Guay ad­mit­ted. “I could have eas­ily been there.”

Team­mate Manuel Os­bornePar­adis, 26, of In­ver­mere, B.C., crashed out of what turned out to be an­other spill-filled race, as did 25-year-old Whistler na­tive Rob­bie Dixon. The women’s su­per-G goes to­day.

At the Whistler Olympic Park in Cal­laghan Val­ley, the Cana­dian cross-coun­try ski­ing team was also deal­ing with dis­ap­point­ment.

Sara Ren­ner, the 33-year-old vet­eran from Can­more, Alta., fin­ished a dis­tant 10th in the women’s 15-kilo­me­tre pur­suit race, well back of gold medal­list Marit Bjo­er­gen of Nor­way and sec­ond-place fin­isher Anna Haag of Swe­den.

Justyna Kowal­czyk of Poland claimed the bronze.

Mel­lisa Hollingsworth

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