—Canadian duo extend medal streak to three, Jane Channell leads Canadian skeleton women in sixth—
KONIGSSEE, Ger.—Kaillie Humphries and Melissa Lotholz extended their medal streak to three in as many races after sliding to gold on Friday at a bobsleigh World Cup stop in Konigssee, Germany.
Clocking the two fastest times on the German track, the two Canadians posted a winning time of 1:41.21. It was their second gold medal of the year. They also won the bronze last week in Winterberg.
“It was a great race. I really like it here in Konigssee. It is a luge track, but I love the way the sled feels in the curves here,” said the 30-year-old Humphries. “Melissa pushed great. We had two good pushes. I had a few more taps than I would have liked but the sled was fast and we are happy to finish on top.”
Calgary’s Humprhies won three of her four medals last year with the 22-year-old rookie Lotholz, of Barrhead, Alta., on her brakes. They have matched that total in just three races this year winning gold in Altenberg as well at the season opener.
“It’s crazy! When I woke up today I felt ready to go and I just knew it was going to be a great day,” said Lotholz. “I had to let myself simmer until it was time to go.
“I didn’t race Konigssee last year so to be on top is a great feeling. It is confirmation we are doing the right things.”
Belgium’s Elfje Willemsen and Sophie Vercruyssen won the silver medal at 1:41.74. Jamie Greubel Poser and Lauren Gibbs of the United States teamed up for the bronze medal with a time of 1:41.85.
It was the 15th World Cup victory for Calgary’s Humphries, and 33rd medal of her illustrious career. Five of those have come on the Konigssee track. She also won a bronze in Konigssee at the 2011 World Championships – a place she says feels like home.
“I love it here. It feels a lot like being in the Rocky Mountains. The people are so positive and the vibe feels like home,” said Humprhies. “The big difference this year is really the sled. I have a new sled that has taken some time to get used to, but I have been able to learn quick, and after a few runs on the track I’m comfortable.”
A new sled and a more confident Lotholz who now has a year of World Cup racing under her belt has been another difference maker.
“It takes three years for a brakemen to really settle in and be comfortable on the World Cup,” added Humphries. “Having a year behind her has been huge for Melissa. She has come such a long way since this time last year.”
“I’m still learning lots about where I need to get my body to be on race day and I think that has been a big factor this year,” added Lotholz. “We are taking care of the little things going into a race. I have done a lot of work and know that I still have a lot of learning to do but we are heading in the right direction.”
Another young Canuck charging in the right direction is skeleton athlete Jane Channell.
One week removed from winning her first ever World Cup medal in the sport, the 27 year old from North Vancouver, was the top Canadian for the third straight week after clocking a sixth-place time of 1:45.16
Calgary’s Elisabeth Vathje fought her way back into the top-10 with a ninth place finish. Vathje posted a two-run time of 1:45.42
The Germans grabbed the top two-spots on the women’s skeleton podium. Tina Hermann won the race with a time of 1:43.04, while Jacqueline Loelling was second at 1:44.17. Switzerland’s Marina Gilardoni slid to the bronze medal at 1:44.60
The World Cup continues on Saturday in Konigssee with men’s skeleton and two-man bobsleigh.
Top-Five Women’s and Canadian Results:
1. Kaillie Humphries, Calgary/Melissa Lotholz, Calgary, CAN, 1:41.21; 2. Elfje Willemsen/Sophie Vercruyssen, BLG, 1:41.74; 3. Jamie Greuble Poser/Lauren Gibbs, USA, 1:41.85; 4. Christina Hengster/Sanne Monique Dekker, AUT, 1:41.98; 5. Sandra Kroll/Franziska Fritz, GER, 1:42.14
Top-Five Women’s and Canadian Skeleton Results:
1. Tina Hermann, GER, 1:43.04; 2. Jacqueline Loelling, GER, 1:44.17; 3. Marina Gilardoni, SUI, 1:44.60; 4. Lelde Priedulena, LAT, 1:44.64; 5. Sophia Griebel, GER, 1:45.02