Kaillie Humphries and Lolo Jones make history at bobsleigh World Championships

Kaillie Humphries took the all-time record with a fourth world title as Lolo Jones wins her first

By Ken Browne ·

Double Olympic bobsleigh gold medallist Kaillie Humphries and her partner Lolo Jones have won a historic two-woman title at the Altenburg World Championships today Saturday (6 February).

Back-to-back world champ victories gives Humphries a record fourth world title to take her above Turin 2006 Olympic champ Sandra Kiriasis on the all-time standings.

Humphries is the first woman to ever reach four, Kiriasis managed three.

Joy too for Jones who wins her first ever World Championships gold medal.

As the snow fell heavily on Saturday the USA duo were fastest on three of four runs clocking 56.40, 56.54, 57.45 and 57.87 seconds for a total of 3:48.26.

And they were flanked on either side of the podium by German sledders racing on home ice.

Kim Kalicki / Ann-Christin Strack finished in the silver medal position, just as they did last year.

Kalicki, the 2020 World Cup silver medallist and Junior World Champion, came in +0.35 seconds behind the leading US duo.

And reigning European and Junior World Champion Laura Nolte with Levi Deborah completed the podium +1.01 off the pace.

Germany claimed three of the top four places as Stephanie Schneider / Leonie Fiebig went from 8th on Friday to 4th on Saturday +1.19 from the winners, and another USA sled was fifth behind them.

Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman finished their four runs +1.88 behind the leading mark, Meyers is back on the ice after she gave birth to son Nico during last year’s worlds.

Team Humphries is 2021 World Champion

But the day belonged to the other U.S. sled, for Humphries it's back-to-back gold medals while Jones was ecstatic with this first ever podium-topping performance.

The pressure was on on the final run on Saturday as Kalicki put in the fastest time on Run 3 going 57.40 - 0.05 faster than Humphries - to edge closer to leading sled, but the Team USA pilot loves this course.

Despite the snow, and despite the short time in this new sled Humphries steered through a clean run, gathering pace and minimising mistakes.

After a great push from Jones, her partner guided them to the win, and her third victory on this course in Altenburg.

The reunited double-act followed up their recent World Cup win in the two-woman sled to top the charts once more in Germany.

It's also the first time that anyone's successfully defended a world title on the same track in women's bobsleigh, these world champs were originally set for Lake Placid but were moved to Europe because of the Covid-19 situation.

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Humphries/Jones: Different paths, same destination

This USA victory is all the more remarkable when you consider they only started competing in the second half of this season’s World Cup due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Former indoor hurdles world champion runner Jones has trained her focus on bobsleigh with all the disruption in the athletics calendar due to Covid-19.

The two sledders have taken very different paths to the top of today's podium.

Humphries won her Olympic gold medals at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 wearing the Canadian Maple Leaf, The 35-year-old became the first woman to defend a bobsleigh Olympic title, and then added bronze to her medal collection at PyeongChang 2018, before switching allegiances to the USA a year later.

Jones competed as a hurdler for USA in athletics at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games before turning her talents to Winter sports and bobsleigh for PyeongChang 2018.

Now 38, Jones planned to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics in the 110m hurdles, until the coronavirus pandemic meant the cancellation of her athletics season.

Fearing that three years of training and conditioning were going to go to waste Jones jumped at the chance to return to the ice when Humphries asked her to come back to bobsleigh.

This world championship gold medal proves what a great decision that was.