|Heather Hughes and Kaillie Humphries of Canada celebrate their bronze medal win at the FIBT World Cup womens' bobsled in Whistler, British Columbia November 26, 2010. (Carmine Marinelli, QMI Agency)
WHISTLER, B.C. - Olympic gold medallist Kaillie Humphries' return to the Whistler Sliding Centre for the FIBT World Cup womens' bobsled opener Friday night was less-than triumphant.
The 25-year-old Calgarian blamed a steering error on the seventh corner of the Olympic track for causing her to skid down the straightaway and lose valuable milliseconds. It was a mistake that relegated her and rookie brakeman Heather Hughes, of Edmonton, to third place in the first of eight stops on the world cup tour.
"I made a major mistake," Humphries admitted. "Yes it is disappointing, but sometimes that's the way it rolls and not every run can be perfect."
Brakeman Hughes replaced Shelley-Ann Brown, of Scarborough, Ont., who suffered muscle spasms Friday afternoon. Humphries' Olympic partner Heather Moyse, of Summerside, P.E.I., is out of action because of a foot injury.
Humphries and Hughes' combined time was one-minute, 48.17 seconds, a gap of 0.47 behind winning German pilot Sandra Kiriasis and brakeman Stephanie Schneider's 1:47.7. The United States duo of Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming was 0.29 behind the Germans for silver.
Hay Lakes, Alta.-raised Melissa These and Diane Kelly, of Chatham, Ont., were last in the 12-sled field with a 1:50.5 combined time.
Earlier Friday, Olympic skeleton champion Jon Montgomery, of Russell, Man., won his fourth career world cup.
Saskatoon-native Lyndon Rush, the Olympic bronze medallist, is hoping to lead his four-man bobsled team to victory on Saturday in the last event of the three-day meet. The tour moves to Calgary Nov. 29-Dec. 5.