By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports activities Author
Kaillie Humphries wasn’t positive if she would get an opportunity to race this season.
She ended up on high of the world — twice.
Humphries ended her worldwide racing season Sunday by rallying to win the inaugural girls’s monobob world championship in Altenberg, Germany, including that gold medal to the one she and Lolo Jones mixed to assert on the identical monitor final weekend.
And now, there isn’t any query about who the gold-medal favourite goes into the Olympic season, with two medal occasions awaiting girls’s bobsledders at subsequent winter’s Beijing Video games for the primary time.
“To have the ability to finish on a excessive, I actually simply proceed to suppose that I’m so grateful to be right here,” Humphries mentioned. “To be representing america and to have the ability to compete is such an enormous honor. And I’m excited to go house and see my husband and my canine.”
Moments later, she hopped atop the medal stand amid a backdrop of snow-covered evergreen bushes, wrapped herself within the American flag, then put her proper hand over her coronary heart because the sounds of “The Star-Spangled Banner” lower by means of the frosty air.
It was her fifth world championship, her third in as many tries since getting her launch from the Canadian program and starting to slip for america in 2019. If Humphries — a two-time Olympic gold medalist who’s married to an American and now calls San Diego house — goes to race for the U.S. in subsequent winter’s Beijing Video games, she must acquire citizenship within the coming months.
“She’s one of the best driver on the planet,” longtime bobsled analyst John Morgan mentioned as Humphries was ending off her gold-medal efficiency Sunday.
Humphries’ last time for 4 runs over two days was 3 minutes, 59.62 seconds — a half-second higher than anybody else. She had the quickest time in every of the ultimate three heats, ending in fashion with a track-record time of 59.47 seconds within the last run to clinch the gold.
“I’m so pleased,” Humphries mentioned. “That was one in every of my higher runs. We simply saved one of the best for final.”
Germany and Canada had sleds ending within the subsequent six spots behind Humphries, with the Germans grabbing silver and bronze. Stephanie Schneider, the chief after Saturday’s first two heats, completed second in 4:00.12. Laura Nolte faltered within the last warmth, taking third in 4:00.42.
Mariama Jamanka was fourth for Germany, adopted by Canada’s Cynthia Appiah in fifth, Germany’s Kim Kalicki in sixth and Canada’s Melissa Lotholz seventh.
On common, these six German and Canadian sleds have been 1.43 seconds behind Humphries. In sliding, that margin is big.
“Kaillie, she’s one of the best on the planet, hands-down, the most effective pilots on the planet, males or girls, taking the bobsled down the hill,” U.S. assistant coach Brian Shimer mentioned. “No query.”
Elana Meyers Taylor was fifteenth for the U.S., her medal hopes dashed by a first-heat crash on Saturday.
Sunday marked the top of the key worldwide sliding season for the U.S., counting all three sports activities — bobsled, skeleton and luge. The U.S. groups received 18 medals on the highest worldwide sliding circuits this winter, all by girls. All 5 of Humphries’ medals have been golds.
The U.S. wasn’t positive till December if it could be going abroad to compete in any occasions. These world championship races for bobsled and skeleton have been to have been held in Lake Placid, New York over the previous two weeks — then moved to Germany due to the pandemic and amid questions on how, or if, worldwide sliders would have the ability to come to the U.S.
The American groups wound up skipping the primary half of the season whereas figuring out if their sliders may compete in Europe safely. They figured it out in time, and as soon as Humphries received rolling over the previous three weeks together with the World Cup finale and final weekend’s girls’s bobsled title race, she was unstoppable.
“A historic day,” Humphries mentioned. “I’m tremendous pumped.”
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