ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse found the speed when it mattered most to win a second successive Olympic women’s bobsleigh gold after pipping the USA-1 sled of Elana Meyers by a tenth of a second on Wednesday.
Meyers and her brakeman Lauryn Williams - who had been seeking to become the first woman to win gold in the Summer and Winter Olympics - held a lead of 0.11 over the Canadians after three runs.
But after Humphries had ratcheted up the pressure with a quick final slide, Meyers could not find the smooth lines she wanted and a succession of bumps slowed her to finish 0.10 down.
Americans Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans won bronze.
“Winning gold is amazing, but walking away satisfied is better. After the third run I knew that if we did the business we could be on top,” said Humphries.
“When you have to rely on someone else or wait and see, it makes it hard.”
The 35-year-old Moyse, who has also represented her country at rugby and track cycling but spent time away from bobsleigh after their Vancouver triumph following a succession of injuries, added: ”After the third run I said to Kaillie, ‘You know what, the gap is closing’.
“We’ve learned what each other need and we’ve got good chemistry on and off the track.”
Humphries and Meyers, who won a bronze as a brakeman in 2010, had traded blows throughout the World Cup season with the Canadian prevailing by just one point from eight races.
Meyers, propelled by two track record starts by the diminutive Williams - who won Olympic relay gold in London in 2012 - appeared to have the upper hand in Sochi when she took the halfway lead.
Humphries, 28, returned to the Sanki Sliding Centre on a mission on Wednesday, cutting Meyers’ lead after the third run and then watching as the Americans blew their gold medal hopes.
Meyers said she would have to deal with defeat.
“Anytime you are that close and you can taste it and you don’t come out with the result, it hurts a little bit,” she said.
“At the end of day Kaillie beat me and I have to deal with that. We gave everything we had, we left it all out there. Hopefully America will forgive me, but I fought.”
Former champion sprinter Williams, who once sported a Minnie Mouse hairdo and has a Mickey Mouse tattoo on her right hip, had been poised to enter the record books.
The 2005 world 100 metres champion was recruited to bobsleigh, along with elite hurdler Lolo Jones, to help give the bobsled its initial speed at the start.
She was selected to push the USA-1 sled after just one season in the sport, and one race with Meyers on the World Cup circuit.
“I didn’t come here to make history, I came here to help Team USA. It wasn’t about history for me,” she said.
Comparing her Olympic medals, Williams said they were “equally wonderful experiences”.
Jones fared less well than her former track team mate, finishing 11th with Jazmine Fenlator.
Additional reporting by Mark Trevelyan, Editing by Mitch Phillips/Peter Rutherford