by Chris Dornan
January 11, 2014, ST.MORITZ, Sui. (ISN) – Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse reassured the world they are the queens of women’s bobsleigh by winning gold on a track that is considered to be the palace of the sliding sports in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Saturday.
Humphries piloted the Canada Eurotech sled to a historic 15th podium finish in the last 17 international races on the only non-refrigerated track in the world, which is 1,700-metre of natural stunning beauty that winds its way to the finish in the town of Celerina.
Sitting in 10th spot after the opening run, Humphries and Moyse took advantage of their dominant starts to shatter the field in the second heat down the naturally refrigerated chute. Calgary’s 28-year-old Humphries, and Moyse, 35, of Summerside, P.E.I., clocked a winning time of 2:19.96.
Humphries has 12 victories during her electrifying podium run that spans over the last three seasons.
The St. Moritiz track has been kind to Humphries in the past. She won her second of back-to-back World Championships at the birthplace of the sport, and longest track in the world there one year ago.
“People don’t understand what this place means to us athletes. It is the birthplace of our sport and the longest track in the world that demands experience and skill so it means the world to me to win here,” said Humphries following her World Championship title last year.
Germany’s Cathleen Martini and Christin Senkel finished second at 2:17.14, while Switzerland’s Fabienne Meyer and Tanja Mayer rounded out the podium in third with a time of 2:17.15.
Edmonton’s Jenny Ciochetti and Chelsea Valois, of Zenon Park, Sask. who both pushed Humphries to her last two World Championship titles powered their way into the top-10 after finishing ninth at 2:17.58
In men’s two-man bobsleigh action Canada’s Lyndon Rush and Lascelles Brown had their best result of the season finishing just off the podium in fourth place. Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., and Calgary’s Brown, who part of Canada’s medal-winning four-man crew at the 2010 Olympics, teamed up to clock a time of 2:13.77.
Calgary’s Chris Spring and Jesse Lumsden, of Burlington, Ont., also had a solid out in sixth spot at 2:13.77. Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and Edmonton’s Bryan Barnett placed 16th (2:14.88).
Switzerland’s Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann defended their home track, winning the gold at 2:13.40. Russia’s Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda were second at 2:13.58, while Germany’s Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker rounded out the podium in third at 2:13.70
Meanwhile, the most accomplished women’s skeleton athlete in the world, Mellisa Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta., is edging her way back towards the podium with under one month remaining until the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
The Olympic bronze medallist, and two-time World Cup champion clocked a fifth-place time of 2:20.66 to lead a trio of Canadian skeleton women.
“St. Moritz was tough this year with pretty different profiles from the past,” said Hollingsworth. “I had a chance to be top-three today, but I started skidding out of the wall corner and lost a lot of time. But with top three seeds in both runs it gives me a lot of confidence that I am on the right track with my sled and driving.”
The 33-year-old Hollingsworth has five silver medals, and one bronze, on the St. Moritz track throughout her illustrious World Cup career.
American Noelle-Pikus Pace finished on top for the third time this year with a time of 2:19.88. Elizabeth Yarnold, of Great Britain was second at 2:20.28, while Shelley Rudman, also of Great Britain, snagged the bronze at 2:20.32.
It was a strong outing for Canada’s World Cup rookie, Robynne Thompson. The 21-year-old Calgarian slid into ninth spot at 2:21.07. Sarah Reid, also of Calgary, had a tough day in 19th (2:22.69).
The World Cup continues on Sunday in St. Moritz with the men’s four man and skeleton racing.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Adidas, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, BMW Canada, The Globe and Mail, Conceptum Sport Logistics, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and SAIT Polytechnic. Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.
Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results:
1. Kaillie Humphries, Calgary/Heather Moyse, Summerside, P.E.I., CAN, 2:16.96; 2. Cathleen Martini/Christin Senkel, GER, 2:17.14; 3. Fabienne Meyer/Tanja Mayer, SUI, 2:17.15; 4. Jamie Greubel/Emily Azevedo, USA, 2:17.25; 5. Ana Schneiderheinze/Stephanie Schneider, GER, 2:17.26
Other Canadian Results:
9. Jenny Ciochetti, Edmonton/Chelsea Valois, Zenon Park, Sask., CAN, 2:17.58
Top-Five Men’s Bobsleigh and Canadian Results:
1. Beat Hefti/Alex Baumann, SUI, 2:13.40; 2. Alexander Zubkov/Alexey Voevoda, RUS, 2:13.58; 3. Francesco Friedrich/Jannis Baecker, GER, 2:13.70; 4. Lyndon Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Lascelles Brown, Calgary, CAN, 2:13.77; 5. Steven Holcomb/Christopher Fogt, USA, 2:13.95
Other Canadian Results:
6. Chris Spring, Calgary/Jesse Lumsden, Burlington, Ont., 2:13.98; 16. Justin Kripps, Summerland, B.C./Bryan Barnett, Edmonton, 2:14.88
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1. Noelle Pikus-Pace, USA, 2:19.88; 2. Elizabeth Yarnold, GBR, 2:20.28; 3. Shelley Rudman, GBR, 2:20.32; 4. Janine Flock, AUT, 2:20.63; 5. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta, CAN, 2:20.66
Other Canadian Results:
9. Robynne Thompson, Calgary, 2:21.07; 19. Sarah Reid, Calgary, 2:22.69