Canadian women's bobsledders make history, qualify 3 sleds for Olympics
Marks 1st time Canada will have 3 entries at the Winter Games
Three top-15 finishes by Canadian women at Saturday's bobsleigh World Cup event means the country will have three sleds at the Winter Olympic Games for the first time in the nation's history.
The duo of Alysia Rissling and Heather Moyse finished their race in St. Moritz, Switzerland, with a two-run combined time of two minutes 16.07 seconds — which landed them in fourth place, 0.80 seconds back of the winners.
Americans Elana Meyers Taylor and Lolo Jones took gold by posting the fastest time at 2:15.27, while German sleds guided by Mariama Jamanka (2:15.48) and Stephanie Schneider (2:15.76) placed second and third, respectively.
It was a bounce-back performance for Rissling and Moyse, who finished 10th last weekend in Altenberg, Germany.
"It feels great to finally have a good finish," said Rissling of their best result in four races together. "I was so happy with my drives today, and we executed a new program at the start. It's great knowing that when I string together consistent pushes, and drives, the results will be there."
Canadians Kaillie Humphries and Phylicia George scored their first gold medal as a pair last weekend, but finished ninth in Switzerland with a time of 2:16.93.
Christine de Bruin and Melissa Lotholz were 14th to round out the Canadians in the field.
Humphries leads the overall standings with 1421 points. Rissling is sixth at 1104, and de Bruin sits 11th with 910 points.
In the men's event, pilot Justin Kripps and brakeman Jesse Lumsden also came away with a fourth-place finish behind a German sweep of the podium.
"I'm pretty happy with the race today, by far my best result here," said Kripps, who has four podium finishes this season.
I haven't made the cut [with the top-20 for the second run] here the last three years, so it was nice to break the curse. The Germans were flying today and we just couldn't get the speed they were getting."
Nico Walther clocked in at 2:10.72 over two runs for the win, followed by Francesco Friedrich's sled at 2:10.77, and Johannes Lochner at 2:10.93.
Kripps and Lumsden were 0.19 seconds off the podium with a time of 2:11.12.
Canadian pilots Chris Spring and Nick Poloniato also cracked the top-10, finishing seventh and eighth, respectively.
Kripps remains at the top of the overall standings in the two-man discipline with 1431 points. Friedrich is second at 1279, while Spring holds the third spot at 1259.