Strong start for American Humphries in monobob

BEIJING — Kaillie Humphries has a big lead in the first part of the monobob competition at the Beijing Olympics.

Humphries is competing for the first time as an American citizen. It’s also the first time monobob, a one-woman bobsled, has been an Olympic event.

“I hope that more women get into the sport,” Humphries said earlier in the Games. “I hope that I can change the direction of the sport. I fought really hard to get women a second medal opportunity, to be the same as men, and I will continue to fight for more opportunity for women in sport. I don’t believe that opportunities should be limited because we’re female. Not everybody thinks that same way.”

The reigning world monobob champion, wearing a suit that had USA written on its sleeves, finished two runs Sunday in 2 minutes, 9.10 seconds, giving her a massive lead of 1.04 seconds over second-place Christine de Bruin of Canada. De Bruin’s time was 2:10.14.

Laura Nolte of Germany was third in 2:10.32, and three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor of the U.S. is right in the medal hunt — her time of 2:10.42 putting her fourth.

Barring a big mistake by somebody, it looks like four women remain in the mix for the three medals. They’ll be decided on Monday morning in Beijing, late Sunday night in the United States. The gap between Meyers Taylor and fifth-place Huai Mingming of China is nearly a half-second.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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