(Reuters) - Canadian Olympic gold medalist Kaillie Humphries and American Elana Meyers Taylor became the first women to pilot four-man bobsleigh teams in World Cup competition as the sport entered the mixed teams era on Saturday.
The pair, backed by three male team-mates, made history at Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park but were unable to finish in the top 10.
Humphries, along with teammates D.J. McLelland, Joey Nemet and Dan Dale - all World Cup rookies - finished 15th out of 17 teams with a combined time from the two runs of 1:48.87.
Meyers Taylor, racing with Dustin Greenwood, Carlo Valdes, and Adrian Adams, ended a place below with a time of 1:49.52.
Latvia’s primary team led by Oskars Melbardis, who won silver in the Sochi Olympics earlier this year, won the four-man race with a time of 1:47.84.
“Today we are not judged by our gender but by the merit of our ability,” tweeted Humphries before her race.
At Humphries’s request the sport’s world governing body, FIBT declared in September that the four-man bobsleigh was now a “gender neutral” competition.
Meyers Taylor and Humphries both put together teams with male brakemen and pushers and were able to qualify for this season’s World Cup circuit by competing in five events at three different courses.
Earlier Meyers Taylor won the women’s two-person competition with Humphries finishing third.
Reporting By Simon Evans in Miami, editing by Gene Cherry