Canada wins first ever women's bobsleigh Olympic medal

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Canada teams wrapped up the top two places Wednesday in the Olympic bobsleigh for the country, who had never finished upon podium in the women's bobsled.

Kaillie Humphries, from Calgary, and brakeperson Heather Moyse of Summerside won the gold medal in three minutes and 32:28 seconds, 0.85 seconds ahead of another Canada pair Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown at the Whistler Sliding Center.

"The goal I set as a little kid is to the top of the Olympic podium, now it's done," said Humphries. "To have done it is amazing."

"I don't know how Canada feels, but if it's anything like I'm feeling. It's pretty exciting."

American Erin Pac and Elana Meyers fell from second to third in the fourth run, finishing 1.12 seconds behind the winners.

It was Canada's seventh gold of the 2010 Games and the nation's first ever medal in the women's Olympic bobsleigh as Upperton and Moyse finished fourth at the 2006 Turin Games, five-hundredths of a second from the podium.

Humphries and Moyse roared down the track at the Whistler Sliding Centre in a record 52.85 seconds for a three-run combined time of two minutes and 39.05 seconds.

That was 57-hundredths of a second ahead of American Erin Pac and Elana Meyers, in provisional second place.

Upperton and Brown, in the Canada 2 sled, leapfrogged German Cathleen Martini to sit in third place, nine-tenths of a second off the pace after the first three runs.

Upperton said she knew shw was poised to win a medal. "I've been in races where it's really hard not to think about the end of the result, but for the first time in a long period, I didn't even think about it," said Upperton.

"I was ready and excited and know what we can do. And we did that."

Germany's second sled, with Cathleen Martini and Romy Logsch on board, were in third place heading into the final two runs.

They were actually in fourth after run three, but crashed in the final attempt and were disqualified.

Prior to this year, Germany had won three of a possible six medals in the women's bobsled.

This was the third medal for the United States, including a silver in 2006 and a gold in 2002.

The other two U.S. sleds -- Bree Schaaf and Emily Azevedo in the third - came in fifth. Shauna Rohbock and Michelle Rzepka in the first sled, finished sixth.

Germany's No. 1 sled of Christin Senkel and Sandra Kiraisis came in fourth place. The heavily favoured German team of reigning Olympic champion and three time world title holder finished a disappointing fourth place, 0.41 seconds behind Pac and Meyers.

It was the first time Germany was kept off the podium since women's bobsleigh became Olympic at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.

The gold medal goes to the sled with the best combined time over four heats.


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