Germany opens bobsled worlds with double gold; Kaillie Humphries gets silver

Laura Nolte Bobsled
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Germans Laura Nolte and Johannes Lochner dethroned the reigning Olympic and world champions to open the world bobsled championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, this weekend.

Nolte, the Olympic two-woman champion driver, won the four-run monobob by four tenths of a second over American Kaillie Humphries, who won the first world title in the event in 2021 and the first Olympic title in the event in 2022. Another German, Lisa Buckwitz, took bronze.

In the two-man, Lochner became the first driver to beat countryman Francesco Friedrich in an Olympic or world championships event since 2016, ending Friedrich’s record 12-event streak at global championships between two-man and four-man.

Friedrich, defeated by 49 hundredths, saw his streak of seven consecutive world two-man titles also snapped. Friedrich has been hampered recently by muscle injury from sprint training in late December, with Lochner winning the last four World Cup two-man races.

Lochner, 32, won his first outright global title after seven Olympic or world silvers, plus a shared four-man gold with Friedrich in 2017.

Swiss Michael Vogt drove to bronze, one hundredth behind Friedrich. Geoff Gadbois and Martin Christofferson filled the top American sled in 18th.

Americans Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton were the last non-Germans to win a world two-man title in 2012.

Bobsled worlds finish next weekend with the two-woman and four-man events.

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Kaillie Humphries rolls into world bobsled championships with World Cup sweep

Kaillie Humphries
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Kaillie Humphries earned her 30th two-women bobsled World Cup win on Sunday, sweeping the weekend races in Altenberg, Germany, to roll into the world championships that start this week.

Humphries followed a monobob victory on Saturday by taking Sunday’s two-woman event with push athlete Kaysha Love. They prevailed by two hundredths of a second over Olympic champion Laura Nolte of Germany, combining times from two runs.

That closed the gap in the World Cup season standings. German Kim Kalicki leads, followed by Nolte and then Humphries. They are separated by 10 points, less than the difference between first and second place in one race on the circuit.

Humphries has a stronger lead in the monobob standings with three wins in six races.

The world championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, start with men’s and women’s skeleton races on Thursday and Friday. The women’s monobob and two-man bobsled are next Saturday and Sunday with the two-woman and four-man events the following weekend.

Humphries swept the last monobob and two-woman world titles in 2021 when Altenberg hosted. She also won the two-woman title the last time St. Moritz hosted worlds in 2013.

Humphries is tied with retired German Sandra Kiriasis for the most world championships two-woman medals at seven.

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Kaillie Humphries gets milestone 100th major bobsled medal

Kaillie Humphries
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ALTENBERG, Germany — Kaillie Humphries of the U.S. got a milestone medal Saturday, winning a World Cup women’s monobob race for the 100th top-three finish of her career in major international competition.

Humphries has won 70 medals in two-woman races in her career; 60 in World Cups, seven at the world championships and three at the Olympics. She’s won another 11 medals in monobob events — including Olympic gold at Beijing last year — plus 10 more on the North American Cup circuit and nine medals in team competitions.

Humphries used a blazing second run to finish two heats on Saturday in 1 minute, 57.92 seconds. Germany’s Laura Nolte was second in 1:58.47, and Canada’s Cynthia Appiah was third in 1:58.86. Humphries’ winning margin of 0.55 seconds was the largest in a World Cup monobob race this season.

Humphries got 225 standings points for the win, 15 more than Nolte got for finishing second. That gave Humphries 1,070 points on the season, 50 more than Nolte in the race for the overall title with three races remaining on the World Cup schedule.

Humphries was 0.15 seconds behind Nolte after the first heat. But her second-heat time of 58.97 seconds beat Nolte’s time by seven-tenths of a second — a huge margin in a sliding sport.

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