American Napier wins bobsled gold

  • Associated Press
  • Saturday, November 21, 2009 11:33pm
  • SportsSports

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — John Napier practically grew up on the bobsled track at Mount Van Hoevenberg. For one day, he owned it.

While his mom, Betsy, rang her giant golden cowbell, the 22-year-old Napier slid the race of his dreams on Saturday, beating U.S. teammate Steven Holcomb to win a World Cup two-man race on his home track at Lake Placid.

Napier and brakeman Charles Berkeley defeated Holcomb and brakeman Justin Olsen by 0.26 seconds with a combined two-run time of 1 minute, 53.62 seconds.

Ivo Ruegg and Roman Handschin of Switzerland were third. Pierre Lueders and brakeman David Bissett of Canada finished fourth.

In the women’s race later, the Germans dominated as Cathleen Martini and Sandra Kiriasis finished 1-2 for the second straight World Cup event and teammate Claudia Schramm barely missed the podium, finishing fourth to Canada’s Kaillie Humphries by 0.01.

Norwegians win freestyle races

Ronny Hafsas and Marit Bjorgen of Norway won the opening World Cup cross-country ski races on Saturday.

Hafsas edged Vincent Vittoz of France by 0.2 seconds, covering the 15-kilometer freestyle race in 34 minutes, 42.1 seconds. It was his first World Cup victory. Matti Heikkinen of Finland was third .

Earlier, Bjorgen won the women’s 10K race.

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