Carlsbad resident Kaillie Humphries Saturday became the first woman to win four bobsled world championships when she teamed with Lolo Jones to win the two-woman title at Altenberg, Germany.
Humphries, the sled’s driver, and Jones, the push athlete, led the German duo of Kim Kalicki and Ann-Christin Strack by 0.34 seconds after Friday’s two runs in the championships conducted by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation.
The U.S. team lost 0.05 seconds of its lead when it recorded the third-fastest time in Saturday’s first run, 57.45 seconds. The Germans had the fastest time, 57.40 seconds.
The U.S. assured itself of the victory with the fastest time on the final run, 57.87 seconds. Its combined time for the four runs was three minutes, 48.26 seconds, 0.35 seconds ahead of the Germans.
“It’s such a huge relief,” the 35-year-old Humphries said. “This was a giant team effort. To be able to cross the finish line and see that number one and know everything worked according to plan is the biggest relief ever. There’s a huge wave of happiness and elation that comes over you. It’s super cool to share this with Lolo and with Team USA.”
Humphries also won last year’s world championship in the event, tying the retired German bobsledder Sandra Kiriasis with three world championships.
The 2020 World Championships were Humphries’ first competing for the U.S. She also won in 2012 and 2013 when competing for her native Canada.
Humphries became eligible to compete for the U.S. following her marriage in 2019 to Travis Armbruster, a former U.S. men’s bobsledder.
Humphries won Olympic gold medals for Canada in the two-woman bobsled in 2010 and 2014 and a bronze in the event in 2018. She switched to representing the U.S. in 2019 because of abuse and harassment she claims she faced from the Canadian bobsled federation.
The bobsledding world championship was the second for the 38-year-old Jones. She was part of the team the won the mixed event in 2013.
“I’m the first hurdler to win back-to-back golds in indoor, so I know the pressure that Kaillie was under,” Jones said, referring to her victories in the 60-meter hurdles in the IAAF World Indoor Championships in 2008 and 2010. “I credit Kaillie for being the vet she is, holding it together, staying composed and executing. She just really killed it.”