American snaps Germany’s 24-race bobsled winning streak
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States won a World Cup women’s bobsled race Saturday, ending Germany’s 24-race winning streak in World Cup and Olympic bobsled races dating back to last season.
Meyers Taylor and push athlete Lauren Gibbs finished their two runs in 2 minutes, 16.11 seconds. They beat the German sled driven by Stephanie Schneider and pushed by Lisa Sophie Gericke by six-tenths of a second, a huge margin in any sliding sport.
Meyers Taylor and Gibbs had the best start in both runs, by wide margins each time, and the top American pilot continued her dominance on the Swiss track. She’s won in each of the last four seasons, an apparent favorite spot after getting engaged there in 2013.
“She was sick last week and got sick again this week, coughing all night,” USA Bobsled coach Mike Kohn said after the race. “She showed up today and won the race by a huge margin. She’s a trooper. She showed us today why she’s got so many medals. She’s determined, resilient and perseveres. Lauren did a great job pushing, and I couldn’t be more proud of them for their display of grit.”
The gold was the first won by the U.S. at the World Cup level this season in any sliding sport, including skeleton and luge.
Olympic champion Mariama Jamanka of Germany teamed with Franziska Bertels for the bronze, 0.76 seconds behind Meyers Taylor’s sled.
Germany prevailed in the last five World Cup two-man, four-man and women’s races last year and did no worse than a tie for gold in those three events at the Pyeongchang Olympics. A German sled won in the first 16 races on the World Cup bobsled circuit this season, including Francesco Friedrich’s win in a two-man race earlier Saturday.
Meyers Taylor also was the most recent driver to beat the Germans, doing so last season with push athlete Lolo Jones — also in St. Moritz, on Jan. 13, 2018.
So the Germans are no longer perfect this season, but Friedrich remained unblemished in two-man races. He won for the sixth time in as many starts, prevailing by four-tenths of a second over German teammate Johannes Lochner. Oskars Kibermanis of Latvia drove to the bronze, and Codie Bascue topped the U.S. finishers by placing 13th.