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Deane says “Bring on Sochi”

20 February 2010

Minutes after completing his first Winter Olympic competition, Australian skeleton athlete Anthony Deane was already looking forward to the next Games at Sochi in 2014.

Deane, a former European handball player who switched to skeleton less than 12 months ago, believes he has learnt a great deal from his Vancouver 2010 experience and can’t wait to work on improving his sliding and his results even further.

“Without a doubt I plan on being at the Olympics at Sochi and aiming for a podium,” he said. “I will have another four year’s experience under my belt.”

The 25-year-old from Sydney finished 23rd as Canadian Jon Montgomery came from behind with two brilliant runs to claim the gold medal, in a four-run total time of 3 minutes 29.73 seconds.

Montgomery, who set a new track record of 52.20 with his third run, finished just seven hundredths-of-a-second ahead of Latvian Martins Dukurs, who led after each of the first three runs, but made a steering error late in his final run to concede the gold medal to the fast-finishing Montgomery.

Russian Alexander Tretyakov claimed the bronze, only 0.38 of a second ahead of Martins Durkurs older brother Tomass.

Deane, whose start times are consistently in the top ten of all sliders, produced a personal best run of 54.55 seconds to start the competition, then immediately topped that with a time of 54.12, putting him in 22nd place overnight.

With only the top 20 sliders moving through to a fourth and final run, Deane faced a huge challenge to gain two places and a full second with his third run, and a time of 54.68 did not do the job.

“My final run was not my best run I have had in competition, but I did put down some good runs on this track, such as my second run on day one, where I made some good changes from my first run,” Deane explained.

“I need to remember that I have only been doing the sport for twelve months.

“Competing in the Olympics was not a goal for me, but once I started winning some Intercontinental Cup races I thought making Vancouver could actually happen,” he added.

Deane has taken note of the steady improvement of German Frank Rommel, who was 24th four years ago at the Turin Olympics, but has since won five world cup events and a world championship medal, and finished seventh in this Olympic competition.

“Gaining experience is the key to improvement from here. All of the top competitors have been taking part in the sport for over ten years. In Germany, skeleton is even an activity in your PE class at school.”

Murray Brust
AOC - Whistler

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