Kaillie Humphries and Melissa Lotholz capped a successful opening day at the World Cup for Canada by taking gold in the women’s bobsled.
Canada wrapped up Friday by winning four medals — two gold — at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
Kaillie Humphries claims gold at bobsleigh World Cup in Whistler1:24
It was the 21st victory, and 46th career medal for Humphries, who remains unbeaten on the Whistler track since 2010 when she slid to her first of two Olympic medals.
“I love this track. It is a place I learned to drive on and I love everything about it,” said Humphries.
“You have to be focused. She will eat you alive if you aren’t. She has gotten us all at one point, but I love competing at home in Canada, and I love Whistler.”
Humphries and Lotholz won in a time of one minute 46.67 seconds.
Spring, Kripps finish 1-2
Canada also grabbed the top two spots on the podium in the two-man bobsled, following Jane Channell’s silver medal win in the women’s skeleton race earlier in the day.
Canadians Chris Spring and Neville Wright won gold in 1:44.17, while Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz took silver in 1:44.19.
“I don’t get the win very often, so it’s nice to get one,” Spring said with a laugh.
Chris Spring wins 2-man bobsleigh World Cup event in Whistler1:21
“I never expect to win, I expect to perform well and then the result is what it is. I knew coming out here, it’s always a tight race…I knew it was going to be difficult to come away with a win, but we executed today. I just wanted to put down runs that I was proud of and I feel like I did that today and that’s what we need to continue to do in the future.”
Spring previously won a World Cup gold in the two-man race on Whistler’s track in January 2016, while Friday’s win was Wright’s first time on top of a World Cup podium.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Wright said. “I’ve never received gold before, lots of silvers and bronzes and stuff, but this is my first gold so I’m just enjoying the moment and taking it in.”
Friday also marked Kripps’ first time medalling in Whistler.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “We could’ve won the race, but we made some mistakes and still managed to get the silver medal. I’m glad a Canadian won, Spring did an awesome job today.”
Channell takes silver
Earlier in the day, Channell managed to defend the second-place ranking she earned in the first heat, securing her podium finish with a speedy two-run time of 1:48.61 in women’s skeleton.
“I didn’t have much confidence, honestly, going into today, even though I know it’s my home track,” said Channell.
“I knew I could do it and everything, but it’s just a matter of actually being able to execute it. Being here for selection races at the beginning of the year was so helpful and to be able to come back and build off of what I was able to do in September was huge. I’m really happy with how today went.”
Canadian Jane Channell slides to silver at Whistler2:06
It was the first World Cup medal of the season for Channell, as well as her first at the Whistler Sliding Centre. The result was Channell’s best since she won a silver and bronze during the 2015-2016 season.
After a difficult last season on the World Cup circuit, winning the silver “means so much,” said the 29-year-old from North Vancouver, B.C.
“Especially at home — my home track, my very first track — it means the world to me.”
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