After finishing the World Cup season in seventh place, the West Australian raced consistently throughout the two-day, four-run event at the Lake Placid Olympic Sliding Centre, eventually finishing in ninth place, her best ever World Championship result.
The World Championships were won by the USA’s Katie Uhlaender, who is also on track to represent her country in weightlifting at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Fellow Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) scholarship holder, Emma Lincoln-Smith, had a disappointing end to her season. Despite taking ninth place in the eight-round World Cup, Lincoln-Smith could only manage 17th at Lake Placid.
Chaffer’s end to the season will give the AIS athlete plenty of confidence heading into next winter. She took a career best second at Whistler in early February, following that up with fifth place at Calgary a week later.
She maintained that form in the World Championships, improving significantly on her 15th place from last year’s world title meet.
“At the end of the day, I’m happy with my result,” Chaffer said.
“I had three consistent runs that put me in a good position, and I was hoping to build on that in the fourth run. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but it was a good way to finish the season.”
She was quick to acknowledge the support of her coach, Eric Bernotas, and Australian Skeleton program manager, Dale Chapman.
“I’d like to thank everyone from the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, the AIS, all my coaches, my family and everyone back home for the support throughout this season,” Chaffer added.
After an indifferent season, American Katie Uhlaender won the Skeleton World Championship by 0.17 of a second, from Canada’s Melissa Hollingsworth.
Great Britain’s Elizabeth Yarnold was third, ahead of the her compatriot and the 2011/2012 World Cup winner, Shelley Rudman. Reigning Olympic Champion, Amy Williams, also from Great Britain, was fifth.
“Weightlifting definitely made things more challenging this year,“ Uhlaender said.
“It’s shown that the weeks that I’ve just focused on skeleton, I was on top of it. It’s literally been a tough balance and at times a little overwhelming, but it’s forced me to stay in the moment and focus on what’s happening now.“
The 2012/2013 Skeleton World Cup season will get underway in November.