LA PLAGNE, France (AP) Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States and Kaillie Humphries of Canada can now officially drive against men on the World Cup circuit.
Meyers Taylor and Humphries fulfilled their last eligibility requirement Sunday by competing in a European Cup four-man race, satisfying an international rule saying they needed to finish five races on three tracks within two seasons before being cleared to drive on the top tour.
Meyers Taylor and her team of Kris Enslen, Nic Taylor and Trevor Christianson finished 10th, and Humphries teamed with Douglas McClelland, Dan Dale and Joey Nemet to finish 17th.
Neither result was relevant. They only went to France looking to finish, and qualify.
''Kris, Trevor and Nic were great and supportive all week,'' said Meyers Taylor, who used borrowed equipment in France and got help from several different national teams to wrap up her qualifying. ''It was a long week for all of us. Thanks to everyone all season long who helped me get qualified, I'm so excited for the World Cup season to start.''
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation decided earlier this year to declare four-man bobsledding gender neutral, meaning women would be afforded the chance to drive against men. The rule change does not affect two-man or women's racing; until now, women have competed in only two-person sleds.
Humphries is the two-time Olympic women's champion and Meyers Taylor was the silver medalist at the Sochi Games. They long lobbied for the chance to race against men, and both qualified for their respective national teams in that discipline this fall. All that remained was securing eligibility, and now after racing twice in Park City, twice in Calgary and once in France that process is complete.
The World Cup season starts this coming weekend in Lake Placid, New York. The first time Meyers Taylor and Humphries plan to compete in four-man is in the second stop on the circuit, at Calgary later this month.