Kaillie Humphries celebrates after winning the gold medal during the IBSF World Championships 2021 Altenberg 2-Woman Bobsleigh competition at the Eiskanal Altenberg on Feb. 06, 2021 in Altenberg, Germany.
Kaillie Humphries became the first woman’s bobsled pilot to win four world titles, while push athlete Lolo Jones became a multi-time world champion in a second sport Saturday at the world championships in Altenberg, Germany.
Meanwhile, the second U.S. sled of Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman finished fifth, nearly one year after Meyers Taylor gave birth to her son Nico.
The win marked Humphries’ second world title in a row, and also her second since joining the U.S. team in 2019 after previously competing for Canada. In addition to the two world titles she won with Canada, in 2012 and ’13, she’s also a two-time Olympic gold medalist in women’s bobsled and won a bronze medal in 2018.
Pushing her this weekend was Jones, a former hurdler who won the 60-meter indoor event in 2008 and 2010 but fell agonizingly short of a 100-meter hurdles medal at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 when she was running in first place but clipped the penultimate hurdle and ultimately finished seventh.
Jones, now 38, finished fourth in the hurdles at the 2012 Olympics and then turned her focus to bobsled, where she won a world title in 2013 as part of the U.S. relay team and went on to make the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team. However, she hadn’t competed in bobsled the previous two seasons after missing out on a return trip to the Winter Games in 2018.
Humphries and Jones teamed up together for the first time last weekend in Igls, Austria, where they raced to Humphries’ first win of this abbreviated season for the U.S. team.
The momentum continued this weekend as the duo opened the competition Friday by posting the fastest time in each of the first two runs to open up a sizable .34 second lead going into the final day. Meyers Taylor and Hoffman were .40 off the podium and .83 behind Humphries and Jones.
Though Humphries’ margin dropped slightly in the third heat on Saturday, to .29 of a second, the duo came back with the fastest final run to end with a combined time of 3:48.26, giving them the win by a .35. Three German teams, led by Kim Kalicki and Ann-Christin Strack, took the next spots, followed by Meyers Taylor and Hoffman, who were 1.88 seconds behind
The win breaks Humphries’ tie with Germany’s Sandra Kiriasis for the most two-woman bobsled wins of all time. Kiriasis won in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
The American pilots will have another opportunity for world titles next weekend in the women’s monobob competition. That event, which will make its Olympic debut in 2022, was added to the competition schedule this season, with Humphries winning two races and Meyers Taylor claiming two silver medals.
The two-man bobsled competition also wrapped up Saturday in Altenberg, though the U.S. men elected not to compete. The world championships continue through next weekend with the skeleton as well as four-man bobsled and monobob competitions.