SPORTS

Germany's Kiriasis wins bobsled World Cup race on her home track, topping Meyers and Jones

01/05/2014 06:33 EST | Updated 03/07/2014 05:59 EST
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.

The reigning Winter Olympic champions _ Heather Moyse of Summerside, P.E.I., and Kaillie Humphries of Calgary _ were 0.22 seconds back in fifth place.

Fellow Canadians Jenny Ciochetti of Edmonton and Chelsea Valois of Zenon Park, Sask., finished in 14th place, 1:36 behind the winning duo.

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 Humphries. "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.

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