Posted by: PPHR | February 25, 2010

Bobsleigh: Canada takes women’s bobsleigh gold and silver

Canadian pair Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse won the women’s Olympic bobsleigh gold Wednesday in a race marked by yet more spectacular spills on the Whistler track.

Fellow Canadians Helen Upperton and Shelly-Ann Brown took the silver with bronze going to Erin Pac and Elana Meyers of the United States as Humphries and Moyse won by a crushing 0.85sec in timing 3min 32.28sec.

“I wasn’t focused on the times, I just wanted to get down to the bottom,” said Humphries, who should have been a brakeman to Upperton four years ago in Turin only to hurt her ankle falling over a garden hose, letting in Moyse.

“This is awesome,” said Moyse, who clicked immediately with her new partner after pairing with Humphries in 2008.

While Humphries and Moyse grabbed each other joyously and Canadian fans whooped it up after the host nation’s seventh Games gold, Germany’s Cathleen Martini and Romy Logsch hugged each other in relief after surviving a high-speed crash.

The German tandem had been on the brink of the podium after the third run but wobbled through curve 11 then came too fast out of curve 12 and overturned with Logsch flying out and sliding down the track as her bob careered towards the line.

British medal hopefuls Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke also overturned, in their case on their third run. They did not start the final heat at the 105 million dollar venue.

“I’m absolutely devastated,” was a furious Minichiello’s reaction.

“I thought it was still possible, but it was right on the edge and I lost it. At the flippin’ Olympics,” she added, following an error at the troublesome curve 12.

The men’s four-man event has also been marred by a series of crashes on the track which saw the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in pre-Games training, prompting four bob quartets to pull out.

Canada had never previously won a medal in the women’s discipline, which only made its Olympic debut in 2002.

But Pac and Meyers lost ground on their final run and that allowed Upperton and Brown to make it a 1-2 finish.

While Minichiello was left to nurse a bruised shoulder, a headache and bruised pride, the Germans put in a poor showing as defending champion Sandra Kiriasis could only manage fourth, and only then owing to Martini’s misfortune.

“I am not upset about fourth place but about myself. I drove like a beginner,” Kiriasis groaned.

Canada has now equalled its best ever gold showing at a Winter Games after also winning seven titles in 2002 and 2006.

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