Kripps, Humphries win bobsled World Cup titles
Justin Kripps, left, and Alexander Kopacz of Canada celebrate their third place in the two-men bob World Cup in Koenigssee, Germany, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, January 20, 2018 4:01PM EST
KOENIGSSEE, Germany -- Canada's Justin Kripps won his first overall World Cup title after placing third in the last two-man bobsled race of the season, while compatriot Kaillie Humphries claimed her fourth women's title on Saturday.
It is just the second time that Canada has finished on top in both men's and women's standings in the same season. Humphries and Lyndon Rush both finished first in 2013.
Francesco Friedrich, pushed by Thorsten Margis, was fastest in both runs of the men's race for a combined time of 1 minute, 38.97 seconds, beating compatriots Johannes Lochner and Christopher Weber by 0.40 seconds for his second win of the season.
Kripps, pushed by Alexander Kopacz, was third, 0.44 behind.
After eight races, The Summerland, B.C., resident finished with 1,631 points, ahead of defending title holder Friedrich on 1,504.
"Winning the overall is absolutely huge," said the 31-year-old Kripps, who now has nine career podium finishes in two-man racing along with a silver medal at last year's world championships.
"It's been a dream of mine since I started driving. I'm really proud of both Alex (Kopacz) and Jesse (Lumsden) who both pushed very well to share the two-man workload. It's incredible we didn't finish worse than fourth the whole season."
Germany's Stephanie Schneider won the women's race later Saturday, clocking a combined time of 1:41.35 with Annika Drazek's help to beat two-time Olympic champion Humphries of Calgary by 0.29.
Humphries, who was pushed by former track athlete Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., finished with 1,631 points after eight races, 40 ahead of Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States, who was third in Koenigssee with Lauren Gibbs.
"I am really happy to win the overall title and get that Globe again," Humphries said. "To be consistent over eight races to me proves it is not just about one track. It tells me that I can perform on any track and that gives me a lot of confidence in my ability and performance."
Humphries also won in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
She won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014.
It was the 48th career World Cup podium for the 32-year-old Humphries to go along with her four world championships and two Olympic medals.
"The first step is accomplished," said Humphries. "It was good today. The first push was the closest I have been to Elana this whole quad. We were consistent, and I was happy with the drives. That is very promising."
It was the second career podium for the 30-year-old George in just her fourth World Cup race. An Olympic hurdler who joined the Canadian bobsled program last year, George also pushed Humphries to a gold medal two weeks ago in Altenberg.
"I think overall Phylicia and I balance each other out. She's got the speed, I have the strength and that's kept us closer to the top teams at the start," said Humphries. "There's lots of work to do. She's still very new, but it is definitely coming. She shows up on race day and knows how to get the best of herself. She rises to the occasion every time and that feels really nice. We treat performance similarly and are determined to progress and move forward."
Calgary's Chris Spring placed third in the overall two-man standings.
Canada's bobsled team won a total of 16 medals this year in women's, two-man and four-man action. The World Cup season wraps up on Sunday with the four-man race.
-- With files from The Associated Press