Canada’s bobsleigh team earned another piece of hardware on the site of next year’s Olympic sliding events.
Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden captured the overall World Cup two-man bobsleigh title on Saturday in Sochi, Russia.
Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., and Lumsden, of Burlington, Ont., claimed the title despite finishing tied for fourth with a two-run time of one minute, 54.41 seconds.
It was their first competitive test on the track to be used for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
"I have always really wanted to win an overall title, and this feels great," the 32-year-old Rush said in a press release. "Big thanks to Jesse and Lascelles [Brown] for the great starts and to all the members of the team that worked so hard for this all year.
"The Sochi track is awesome. Everything about it is big and impressive. It is by far the nicest facility on tour."
On Friday, Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Chelsea Valois were also crowned World Cup champions, winning the women’s overall title.
This is Rush's first overall title, racking up two World Cup victories and four podium finishes in the process. He teamed up with Lumsden and Brown, two of the most powerful brakemen in the sport.
Rush and Lumsden have six career World Cup medals together, including three victories, in addition to sliding to the silver medal at last year's World Championships.
"It is a great way to finish off the two-man season. It truly was a team effort this year," said Lumsden. "Lascelles and I both pushed Team Rush onto the podium, and Lyndon was awesome navigating the tracks. I am very proud of what we accomplished."
Switzerland's Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter won the two-man race with a time of 1:53.76. Germany’s Thomas Florschuetz and Andreas Bredau were 0.30 back to capture silver, while Latvia’s Oskars Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens slid to the bronze (1:54.16).
Brown and fellow-Calgarian Chris Spring earned a solid sixth-place finish. Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and Edmonton’s Neville Wright were18th.
Mellisa Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta., ended her injury-plagued season with a 14th-place finish in women's skeleton.
Hollingsworth ended the race with a time of 2:01.14.
The former Olympic medallist admitted it's been a difficult stretch of late, but she's taking the positives and is already looking forward to next season.
"It's one of the worst seasons I have had in a long time," she said in a press release. "I didn't feel prepared at all for this race, but hope when we come back next fall to put the little I did learn into action immediately and build on it.
"It has been a long season, but I'm looking forward to getting back to Canada, get refreshed and hungry for a quality summer of training."
Cassie Hawrysh of Brandon, Man., finished 16th.