USA-1 women fall just shy in WCup
WINTERBERG, Germany -- Germany's Sandra Kiriasis drove to a World Cup bobsled win on her home track on Sunday, edging Elana Meyers of the United States by the slimmest of margins.
Kiriasis and brakeman Franziska Fritz finished two runs in 1 minute, 55.41 seconds -- a mere 0.01 seconds ahead of Meyers and Lolo Jones, who likely bolstered her Olympic hopes by helping give USA-1 a huge push in the second heat.
Anja Schneiderheinze and Stephanie Schneider were third for Germany, 0.07 seconds back.
Meyers has now finished no worse than second in all five races this season, though this one wasn't easy. She and Jones had a bit of trouble at the start of the first run, then tied for the fastest start in the field to begin their second trip down the track.
"We like to keep everybody on the edge of their seats," Meyers said after extending her World Cup standings lead to 68 points over Canada's Kaillie Humphries, who placed fifth. "We had a little slip-up in the beginning of the first run. I didn't run far enough and she followed me, so it caused us to drop some time, but we came back in the second one."
Kiriasis' victory came one day after she celebrated her 39th birthday. It was the first medal of the season for the German who's widely considered the best women's driver ever, and came in what's widely expected to be her final year in a sled. Kiriasis was emotional crossing the finish line, raising one of her index fingers skyward, then took a long swig of a celebratory beer while standing atop the medal stand.
For the U.S., Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans led after the first run but finished fourth. Jazmine Fenlator and Lauryn Williams were ninth, despite solid start times of 5.62 and 5.59 seconds.
Evans is expected to be a lock for one of the three push-athlete jobs on the U.S. women's team that will compete in the Sochi Olympics next month, while Jones and Williams -- both of whom have competed in multiple Olympics as track stars -- are in a group competing for the other two spots.