The United States’ Elana Meyers Taylor marked her return to Bobsleigh World Cup action by setting a new track record on her way to claiming victory in St Moritz, Switzerland.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic silver medallist had been sidelined for several weeks due to concussion, but showed no signs of rustiness as she and brakewoman Lauren Gibbs clocked a record-breaking time of 1min 08.14sec in their second run for an overall 2:16.53.
Coming in second, 0.38 seconds behind the American pairing, was Germany’s Anja Schneiderheinze and her brakewoman Annika Drazek helped by a start record of 5.45sec.
As well as making it onto the World Cup podium for the first time this season, Schneiderheinze also retained her continental title with the event doubling as the European Championships.
Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada came third in the World Cup race, 0.76 seconds behind, with brakewoman Melissa Lotholz.
The silver medal in the European Championships went to Elfje Willemsen and Sophie Vercruyssen of Belgium, their first-ever medal in this racing format, while the surprise winner of the bronze was World Cup debutant Stephanie Schneider of Germany with brakewoman Lisa Marie Buckwitz.
Schneider, the junior world champion, has taken to the helm herself this season after coming third at last year’s World Championships in Winterberg in a sled piloted by Cathleen Martini.
After seven of eight World Cup races, the overall standings continue to be led by 2012 and 2013 world champion Humphries on 1,510 points.
America’s Jamie Greubel Poser, who missed the podium in St Moritz for the first time this season with a fourth-place finish, is second with 1,452 points, and Austria’s Christina Hengster is third with 1,354 points after placing seventh.
Meanwhile in the two-man bobsleigh World Cup race, Beat Hefti triumphed on his home course to secure his fourth European title.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic silver medallist and brakeman Alex Baumann set a new season record time of 1:06.17 to head the 31-man field after the first run and then posted 1:06.43 for an overall 2:12.60.
The US pairing of Steven Holcomb and Carlo Valdes were second, 0.18 seconds behind, while World Championship runner-up Nico Walther of Germany and brakeman Christian Poser came third, 0.20 seconds behind.
Walther also won European Championship silver, his first-ever medal in the two-man bobsleigh in this format, and bronze went to another German crew – Maximilian Arndt and Kevin Kuske.
With just one race to go in the World Cup series, South Korea’s Won Yun-jong remains top of the overall standings with 1,337 points after a fifth-place finish in St Moritz.
Walther is second with 1,274 points and Latvia’s Ugis Zalims, who came seventh today, is third with 1,242 points.
Action in St Moritz concludes tomorrow with the four-man bobsleigh event.
- By Daniel Etchells
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz