Rare Brit victory protested

Associated Press / February 20, 2010

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Amy Williams’s helmet was bumpy. The ride was anything but.

Williams finished off a surprising run to the women’s skeleton gold medal yesterday, giving Britain its first individual Winter Olympics title since figure skater Robin Cousins prevailed at Lake Placid in 1980.

Williams finished four runs at the Whistler (British Columbia) Sliding Centre in 3 minutes 35.64 seconds. Germans took silver and bronze, with Kerstin Szymkowiak finishing 0.56 seconds off Williams’s pace and Anja Huber coming in third.

“It was the perfect performance,’’ Huber said. “She’s the right Olympic champion.’’

Not everyone agrees.

A person with direct knowledge of the case said a second protest was filed quickly after the race about the helmet Williams used, adding that it was “more detailed’’ than the one denied a day earlier by the International Federation of Bobsleigh and Tobogganing.

The FIBT didn’t say when it would hear the latest protest.

If the protest is upheld, Noelle Pikus-Pace might get a medal after all.

Pikus-Pace, the longtime racer from Eagle Mountain, Utah, finished fourth in her final race before retirement, missing bronze by a mere 0.10 seconds.

Jon Montgomery has a maple leaf and “Canada’’ tattooed above his heart. Now he’s got something to hang next to it.

The redhead with the scruffy beard and penchant for speed won the Olympic gold medal in men’s skeleton, snatching it from Latvia’s Martins Dukurs, who was nearly flawless during three heats but made a critical mistake feet from the finish.

Montgomery completed his four runs down the Whistler Sliding Centre track in 3 minutes 29.73 seconds - .07 seconds faster than Dukurs. Russia’s Alexander Tretyakov won the bronze.

Montgomery entered the fourth heat trailing Dukurs, the World Cup champion, by .18 seconds. Dukurs lost his line on the final curve, costing him valuable seconds.

Zach Lund of the US was fifth.