Crash hits Paula hope

First published in Sport

PAULA Walker was denied her first World Cup medal after crashing on the notorious Altenberg track in Germany.

The Blackburn bobsleigh ace was on course for her best ever result after she clocked the third fastest time on her first run.

But after the British duo improved their start by four hundredths of a second on run two, it all went disastrously wrong as they fell victim to the Altenberg track – regarded as the toughest in the world – as they took the penultimate bend too high and overturned, crossing the line upside-down.

Walker, a former St Bede’s High School pupil, and Cooke were shaken but unharmed after the incident.

Had they finished in the top three, it would have been the best performance by a British women’s sled for four years and Walker’s best since making her World Cup debut in 2009.

As it was, they finished 13th, clocking 58.53 seconds in run one and 1min 5.01secs in run two for a combined time of 2mins 3.54secs, 6.59 seconds behind Cathleen Martini of Germany.

Walker is ranked ninth overall after six rounds with her sixth place finishes at Lake Placid and Whistler her best results to date.

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