Humphries, Lotholz earn bobsleigh silver in Austria
American pilot Meyers Taylor wins 4th consecutive World Cup
Canada's Kaillie Humphries and Melissa Lotholz returned to the World Cup bobsleigh podium on Saturday, winning silver in Igls, Austria.
The win kept Humphries atop the overall standings despite a fourth-consecutive gold for American pilot Elana Meyers Taylor. Fellow American Jamie Greubel Poser finished third.
Girls, flowers and champagne at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BMWworlds?src=hash">#BMWworlds</a> women's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bobsleigh?src=hash">#bobsleigh</a> in Igls! 1. Elana Meyers… <a href="https://t.co/7BK63Vzff1">https://t.co/7BK63Vzff1</a> <a href="https://t.co/qtPtVQt3gM">pic.twitter.com/qtPtVQt3gM</a>—@IBSFsliding
"We had a few mistakes on our first push…so we really tried to correct those things in the second run," Humphries said. "Overall it was a decent day. The pushes are really coming together for Melissa and I, and the velocity is great."
The silver was only the fourth-career podium finish for Humphries on the Austrian track. Coming off a fourth-place finish with Cynthia Appiah last week in Konigssee, Germany — the site of the 2017 World Championships in two weeks — Humphries made a key decision on Saturday to go back to Lotholz.
"Melissa has worked hard, and looking at the results with the coaches, when she is in the sled our velocity and speed is far greater," Humphries said.
"The rivalry between her and Cynthia has been awesome to see. Bringing Cynthia into the mix has pushed both of them. They are in a healthy competition and the results are showing."
Kripps benefits from rule change, slides to 5th
In the men's event, overall leader Francesco Friedrich won both heats to claim his fourth victory of the season. Friedrich and his pusher Thorsten Margis, of Germany, set a track record in the opening run before beating Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga of Latvia by 0.73 second.
Austria's Benjamin Maier and Markus Sammer trailed by 0.80 in third. The Canadian sled of Justin Kripps and Jesse Lumsden finished fifth, 0.05 seconds shy of the podium.
The duo took advantage of a rule change by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation regarding sandpaper protocol on the sled runners to post their best result since the holiday break.
Great race in Igls today! Big thanks to <a href="https://twitter.com/IBSFsliding">@IBSFsliding</a> for making a change to ensure a more fair race 👏 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bobsleigh?src=hash">#bobsleigh</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldCup?src=hash">#WorldCup</a>—@justinkripps
"The jury noticed that the sandpaper was not affecting a lot of the athletes' runners and the races seemed unfair. I applaud the IBSF in making the change to create a more fair race for the athletes," said Kripps, who sits ninth in the overall standings.
"I think this is why we had a better result today. We are one of the top teams, and I think if they keep the rules the way they had them for this race, we have a great chance at the World Championships with a level playing field."
Chris Spring and brakemen Lascelles Brown and Neville Wright placed 13th; Brown did not compete in the second heat due to a minor injury acording to Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. Nick Poloniato and Derek Plug finished 18th.
The event concludes on Sunday with the 4-man bobsleigh event. You can watch it on CBC Sports at 6 a.m. ET and 7:30 a.m. ET.