IBSF World Cup: Humphries & Lotholz win; Vathje steals skeleton silver
Team Canada’s bobsleigh and skeleton athletes begin the Olympic season with a bang.
Kaillie Humphries and Melissa Lotholz race to gold in women’s bobsleigh; after a skeleton silver from Elisabeth Vathje put Canada on the medal table.
Here are the day one details from Lake Placid.
With the first event of the season taking place in Lake Placid, the women’s bobsleigh event was highly anticipated for fans due to the ongoing Canada vs. USA rivalry. While the top two American sleds both clocked fastest start times on their opening runs, Humphries and Lotholz found themselves in the leader box, with a time of 56.96 seconds.
With only +0.11s and +0.13 separating Canada from the USA’s top two sleds, it was still anyone’s race heading into the final run. Germany’s sled powered by Stephanie Schneider and Lisa Marie Buckwitz pushed themselves into first, ultimately knocking the USA’s team of Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans off the podium. Elena Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs (USA) were able to take over the leader spot, with only Humphries and Lotholz remaining.
The Canadians started their final run strong, as the only sled to improve their start time in the second heat. The quick start and clean lines helped the Canadians finish with a combined time of 1:54.40 seconds, to win gold and beat America’s top sled by 0.03s.
Vathje secured Team Canada’s first IBSF World Cup podium of the year, with a skeleton silver in Lake Placid.
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@skellyelisabeth opens the Olympic season with a skeleton 🥈, securing #TeamCanada's first #IBSFWorldCup medal of 2017. 🙌 Details 👉 Olympic.ca. // Un début de saison olympique en argent 🥈pour Elisabeth Vathje et une première médaille pour #ÉquipeCanada sur le circuit #IBSF cette saison ! Les détails 👉Olympique.ca
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After sitting in third with a time of 55.10 seconds following the opening heat, the Canadian clocked another strong run, to give her a combined time of one minute 50.39s and a silver medal.
The gold medal went to Austria’s Janine Flock, who smashed her own track record with an opening run of 54.69s, before winning with a time of 1:50.13s. Great Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold’s secured bronze, finishing 0.33s after Flock.
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Fellow Canadian Jane Channell passed the line in 55.09s on her final run, to secure the fastest time of the competition after Flock’s record setting run. Channell placed 6th overall in the women’s competition.