Germany's Kim Kalicki won the gold medal in the two-woman bobsleigh at the IBSF World Championships in St Moritz having finished second in the previous two editions ©IBSF

Germany’s Kim Kalicki finally got to stand on top of the podium after winning the gold medal in the two-woman bobsleigh at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Championships in St Moritz, having finished second in the last two editions of the event.

Kalicki and her partner Leonie Fiebig leapfrogged team-mates Lisa Buckwitz and Kira Lipperheide, the leaders after the first two runs yesterday at the Olympia Bobrun, in the opening round this morning.

Kalicki and Fiebig then managed to hold off their compatriots to cross the line in a combined time of 4min 32.86sec and win by 0.05 seconds.

Kalicki had previously finished second at the IBSF World Championships in Altenberg in 2020, with Lipperheide, and with Ann-Christin Strack at the same German venue in 2021.

This track will surely always be Kalicki’s favourite as in January last year she had won her first European Championship title on it, when she had been partnered by Buckwitz.

"The last weeks were exhausting, but we managed it well now," the 25-year-old Kalicki, winner of the opening rounds of this season's IBSF World Cup, said.

"Before the last run it was really tight, but I thought to myself, Kim, 'Just ski down normally now, you can do it.'"

For Bucktwiz, winner of the Olympic gold medal at Pyeongchang 2018, with Mariama Jamanka, the wait for a first world title goes on.

If the 28-year-old, who last year appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine, was disappointed, she did not admit it.

"Even if it was close in the end: a super race, that was fun in any case," she said.

"In the second run I had a mistake at the horseshoe, there I lost time, otherwise it might have ended differently again.

"I'm totally happy with silver."

The United States' defending champion Kaillie Humphries, chasing a third consecutive title after her 2020 or 2021 victories, had to settle for the bronze medal this time.

Humphries and new partner Kaysha Love took advantage of Olympic champion Laura Nolte and her partner Neele Schuten, who had started the day in the bronze medal position, crashing in the third round after the Horseshoe curve and failing to finish.

For Humphries, the Olympic gold medallist at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, when representing Canada, this was her seventh IBSF World Championships in the two-woman bobsleigh.

"The second day was better than the first definitely," the 37-year-old Humphries, who had also lifted the world title in this discipline in 2012 and 2013, said.

"We were also faster at the start today.

"It's a good feeling to come out of the World Championships with a medal - it also gives Kaysha motivation for the next few years when she will be competing as a pilot herself."

Kim Kalicki and partner Leonie Fiebig celebrate their victory alongside countrywomen Lisa Buckwitz and Kira Lipperheide and the United States' Kaillie Humphries and Kaysha Love ©IBSF
Kim Kalicki and partner Leonie Fiebig celebrate their victory alongside countrywomen Lisa Buckwitz and Kira Lipperheide and the United States' Kaillie Humphries and Kaysha Love ©IBSF

Melanie Hasler and Nadja Pasternack, silver medallists in last month's European Championship in Altenberg, narrowly failed to become the first Swiss women bobsledders for more than 20 years to win at this event after finishing fourth.

The last Swiss pair to win an IBSF World Championships medal had been Francoise Burdet and Katharina Sutter, winners of the title in Calgary in 2001.

The Championships are due to continue later today with the opening two rounds of the men's four-man bobsleigh. 

The women's event was followed by the opening two rounds of the men's four-man bobsleigh.

Germany's Olympic champion Francesco Friedrich is on course for his fourth consecutive victory in the event.

His team of Thorsten Margis, Candy Bauer and Alexander Schueller are 0.20sec ahead of Britain's European Championship-winning quartet of Brad Hall, Arran Gulliver, Taylor Lawrence and Greg Cackett.

A British four-man team has not won a medal at the World Championships since Frederick McEvoy piloted the team to silver in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1939. 

The last British men's medal in any discipline came when Olympic champions Tony Nash and Robin Dixon took bronze at the same track in 1966.

Latvia's team of Emils Cipulis with Davis Springis, Matiss MIknis and Edgars Nemme are surprisingly in third at half-time, 0.58sec behind and hold a narrow lead ahead of Germany's Olympic silver medallist Johannes Lochner with Erec Bruckert, Georg Fleischhauer and Joshua Tasche.

The final two rounds are due to take place tomorrow as the Championships draw to a close.