ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — World bobsled champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada defended her title Saturday, extending an overnight lead in the final two runs. Elana Meyers of the United States took silver.
Earlier, two-time junior world champion Francesco Friedrich of Germany led the 2-man competition after the opening two runs. Defending champion Steven Holcomb of the U.S. is third. Humphries, the Olympic champion, and her brakewoman Chelsea Valois were 0.68 seconds faster than Meyers and Katie Eberling who had been third after the first two runs Friday.
"Four consistently good runs are what won us gold," said Humphries, the favorite to repeat her Olympic victory next year. "Now Sochi is my next goal." The Americans had a 0.02 edge over German bronze medalists Sandra Kiriasis, the 2006 Olympics champion, and Franziska Bertels.
"We won silver with our starts. A big thanks to my brakewoman," Meyers said. Kiriasis piloted her bob to the fastest speed of the competition, 144.85 kph (90mph), but superior driving by Humphries won gold in a combined four-run time of 4 minutes, 30.31 seconds on the Olympia track.
In the 2-man competition, the 22-year-old Friedrich and brakeman Jannis Baecker hold a 0.35-second advantage over World Cup champion Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter of Switzerland. Friedrich had a combined two-run time of 2 minutes, 11.10 seconds.
Holcomb and Steven Langton have 0.77 seconds to make up in the final two runs scheduled Sunday. Friedrich and Baecker reached the fastest speed of 146.63 kph (91.1 mph) in the fastest time of 1:05.51 in the second run.
Holcomb described the natural ice track as "crazy. We had much higher speed in training than in the race." The team competition will also be raced Sunday.