Kaillie Humphries wins monobob’s debut at bobsled world championships


Kaillie Humphries won the first world title in monobob, which debuts at the Olympics next year, to complete a sweep of the women’s events at the world bobsled and skeleton championships.

Humphries, a 2010 and 2014 Olympic champion for Canada who switched to the U.S. in 2019, prevailed by a half-second over German Stephanie Schneider.

Another German, Laura Nolte, took bronze, combining times from four runs in Altenberg, Germany.

Later Sunday, German Francesco Friedrich completed his sweep of the two- and four-man events, winning the latter by .79 over Swiss Benjamin Maier.

Friedrich earned golds in both events at the last four worlds and the 2018 Olympics, running his world title tally to a record 11 and staking his claim as the greatest bobsledder in history.

Humphries has an argument, too.

Last Saturday, she and Lolo Jones won the two-woman world title.

Next year, Humphries (and Friedrich) can tie the record for Olympic bobsled gold medals, provided she obtains citizenship and becomes eligible for the U.S. Olympic team.

The record is currently shared by Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske, who had two chances for medals at each of their Olympics. Women have had one Olympic event, starting in 2002.

The IOC, seeking to close in on gender balance in the number of Olympic events, weighed whether to add four-woman bobsled rather than monobob for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

While the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation lobbied for four-woman, IOC sports director Kit McConnell said then that the IBSF was “very supportive” of monobob, in part because it was already on the Youth Olympic program.

“Woman’s four-man bob costs three or four times of monobob,” McConnell said when monobob was added in July 2018. “We felt there would be more universality in the women’s monobob. We really didn’t see more than a handful of countries really developing women’s four-man programs because of the costs involved.”

Humphries and three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor (15th at worlds in monobob, with two crashes on a track that has been her nemesis) were among the top female drivers who lobbied for the four-woman event.

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