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Overall World Cup standings are still wide open ahead of the last three races

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Königssee (RWH): Athletes at the 2016/2017 BMW IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup in Königssee (GER) will get a chance to rehearse for the World Championships. Three weeks ahead of the 2017 BMW IBSF World Championships (13 to 26 February 2017), bobsleigh and skeleton athletes will be competing on the artificial ice track in Königssee. The results of the sixth of the eight World Cup races in the pre-Olympic season will give an initial hint of who could end up taking the title. At the same time, IBSF athletes will get a chance to get in a good bit of practice on the World Championship track.

When it comes to the overall World Cup standings, the 2016/2017 season on the ice track has been extra exciting. The overall leaders in all five disciplines have only managed to secure leads ranging from just 11 to 36 points over their competitors. With just three World Cup weekends left to go, the race to take the title and win the coveted Crystal Globe trophies is still wide open in all events.

The 2016/2017 BMW IBSF World Cup has been particularly dramatic for the female skeleton athletes: Four different athletes have finished on top of the podium in five races. The most recent race in St. Moritz saw a surprise winner with Mirela Rahneva of Canada taking her first World Cup victory and an almost two-second lead over the athlete in second place. In total, seven athletes from five countries have made it onto the World Cup podium, including Kendall Wesenberg of the USA, who finished second in St. Moritz for her first ever place in the top three at the World Cup. European Champion Jacqueline Lölling of Germany is heading to Königssee as the overall leader in the World Cup standings. Ahead of the sixth race of the season, she is 36 points ahead of the athlete in second place, Janine Flock of Austria. World Champion Tina Hermann and World Cup newcomer Anna Fernstädt will arrive in Königssee in fourth and eighth place overall.

In the men’s skeleton event, the gap between the athlete in first place, defending World Cup winner Martins Dukurs of Latvia, and Sungbin Yun (KOR) in second place is even tighter. After a relatively restrained start to the winter for the overall winner of the last seven seasons, Martins Dukurs secured his 45th and 46th World Cup wins in Winterberg and St. Moritz and currently has a 33-point lead in the standings. German skeleton athletes Christopher Grotheer (fourth overall), Axel Jungk (fifth) and Alexander Gassner (eighth) have made it onto the World Cup podium twice so far and are keen to improve on this statistic in Königssee.

In the two-woman bobsleigh, 35 points currently separate the leader and defending World Cup winner Kaillie Humphries of Canada and Jamie Greubel Poser (USA) in second. Both pilots have already secured eight podium finishes between them and have shared the podium at three of the five races. Elana Meyers Taylor of the USA, winner of the last two races in Winterberg and St. Moritz, has only missed out on a place in the top three once after a crash in Whistler. Currently fourth in the overall World Cup standings, she is therefore only just trailing the athlete in third place, Christina Hengster of Austria. Fans are sure to be watching eagerly to see how the German bobsleigh pilots do in the test for the World Championships. Mariama Jamanka and her brakewoman Annika Drazek had the best results so far after becoming the surprise winner of the European Championships in Winterberg, where she also finished second to secure her first World Cup podium finish.

In the two-man and four-man bobsleigh events, there have been four different winners in the five races so far this season. As you would expect, the gap between the leaders and second-place athletes is very tight: Yunjong Won (KOR, two-man bob) is eleven points ahead of Francesco Friedrich (GER) and Alexander Kasjanov (RUS, four-man bob) has a 32-point lead over Rico Peter (SUI). The Latvian team had missed out on several World Cup events after encountering problems such as injuries but now seem to be in better shape after Oskars Kibermanis won the European Championship bronze, third place in the World Cup (two-man bobsleigh) and his first ever World Cup win in the four-man bobsleigh. His team mate, the World Champion Oskars Melbardis, has also achieved his first podium finish this season, coming second in St. Moritz. The story is similar for the home German team: Francesco Friedrich, Johannes Lochner and Nico Walther missed out on Lake Placid but have celebrated a total of twelve podium finishes at the other World Cup races.

In this pre-Olympic season, another athlete has been enjoying one the best seasons of recent years: Steven Holcomb of the USA. The 36-year-old athlete, who won the four-man bob at the 2010 Olympics and the World Championship title in 2009 and 2012, has already celebrated three podium finishes so far and is currently third (two-man bob) and fourth (four-man bob) in the BMW IBSF World Cup standings. ©RWH2017



IBSF media guides, starting lists, reports and results in the new press area at ibsf.org

Königssee (RWH): Journalists can now look forward to a fresh new look and more extensive information on the press pages at ibsf.org (available under the “Press” menu or directly at http://www.ibsf.org/en/media-contact). For the 2016/2017 BMW IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup, the menu will contain starting lists for the first runs of all events and the latest media guides:

Media guide - Event information for the entire BMW IBSF World Cup season: This guide outlines key information concerning bobsleigh and skeleton, the IBSF International Rules, the new IBSF draw system and all of the tracks.

Media guides - Athletes for both bobsleigh and skeleton for each round of the World Cup: This guide contains a profile of all bobsleigh pilots and skeleton athletes due to start at the BMW IBSF World Cup, including their results, the latest World Cup standings, and an interesting insight into their backgrounds. The Athletes media guides are updated prior to each World Cup event.

The press area also contains information on media accreditation, links to the latest press releases, results and information on the IBSF’s social media platforms. ©RWH2017



Keep up to date with IBSF news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Königssee (RWH): As usual, all the latest news, start lists, race results, lots of photos and videos, and a wealth of information about the BMW IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup will be available on various social media platforms:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/IBSFsliding

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IBSFsliding

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/IBSFsliding

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bobskeletv

The official hashtag for the World Cup is #BMWworldcup.

A live ticker for all World Cup races, results lists showing all race times and overall times and the latest World Cup standings can be found on the IBSF website http://www.ibsf.org/en.

Over 40 countries around the world are showing TV coverage of the BMW IBSF World Cup races. You can find a list of our current TV partners at: http://www.ibsf.org/en/broadcaster.

What’s more, NBC (in the USA), CBC (in Canada), www.ibsf.org and the IBSF YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/bobskeletv (available in almost all other countries) also broadcast all races as live streams, with commentary provided by Martin Haven and John Morgan on the IBSF channels. ©RWH2017


Königssee timetable
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On the sidelines

Maya Pedersen (NOR) is back on the ice track. The skeleton athlete used to compete under her maiden name Bieri on behalf of her home country Switzerland. After winning the overall World Cup in 1998, she went on to secure the World Championship titles in 2001 and 2005, the European Championship gold in 2006, and the Olympic gold at the Turin Winter Olympics. Maya Pedersen officially ended her international career in Whistler in 2010 when the then 37-year-old finished her third Winter Olympic Games in ninth place. The 43-year-old, who now lives near Lillehammer with her husband Snorre Pedersen (a former skeleton athlete for Norway) and their two daughters, is now making an international comeback, competing on behalf of Norway after her six-year break. So far, she has taken part in ten races in the 2016/2017 season for the IBSF European Cup, North American Cup and Intercontinental Cup. Her best result to date: Third place in the North American Cup in Park City (USA) at the start of January 2017. Maya Pedersen is aiming to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in the Korean city of PyeongChang. ©RWH2017

Johannes Lochner (GER) has appeared on the children’s quiz show “1, 2 oder 3” on the German TV channel ZDF. The afternoon show, which was almost half an hour long, saw teams of children from Germany, Austria and Sweden answering questions on the subject of winter sports. After covering ice hockey and ski-jumping, the third question was all about bobsleigh. Bobsleigh pilot Johannes Lochner and his crew Joshua Bluhm, Sebastian Mrowka and Christian Rasp brought their four-man bobsleigh into the studio and told the children and host Elton all about the sport and bobsleigh techniques. The question itself focused on a rubber band, which only three of the nine children correctly guessed as being part of the steering mechanism.
The episode was filmed back in autumn 2016. However, it was broadcast on 14 January 2017, the same day that Johannes Lochner/Joshua Bluhm won silver in the two-man bobsleigh European Championships. A day later, Johannes Lochner/Joshua Bluhm/Sebastian Mrowka/Christian Rasp won the European Championships in the four-man bobsleigh. ©RWH2017


The World Cup winners and medal winners in Königssee in February 2016
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BMW IBSF World Cup Bob + Skeleton 2016/2017: Overview and track information

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The winners at the BMW IBSF World Cup 2016/2017
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