Preview BMW IBSF World Cup: Fifth round set for the Olympia Bob Run in St. Moritz Celerina
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St. Moritz (RWH): One week after winning the 2017 IBSF European Championships, Jacqueline Lölling (GER, women’s skeleton), Martins Dukurs (LAT, men’s skeleton), Mariama Jamanka (GER, two-woman bobsleigh), Francesco Friedrich (GER, two-man bobsleigh) and Johannes Lochner (GER, four-man bobsleigh) are heading to St. Moritz for the BMW IBSF World Cup as the newly crowned European Champions. The fifth round of the World Cup in the pre-Olympic season is set to take place on Olympia Bob Run St. Moritz Celerina.
In the women’s skeleton event, Jacqueline Lölling of Germany celebrated her first European Championship gold medal in Winterberg. The silver medal was awarded to the 2016 European Champion, Janine Flock of Austria. Bronze medal went to World Champion Tina Hermann (GER).
Last week in Winterberg, Martins Dukurs secured his 45th World Cup win and eighth European Championship title. At the BMW IBSF World Cup, the Latvian skeleton athlete finished ahead of his competitors for the first time in this pre-Olympic season and is heading to St. Moritz with his 45th World Cup victory and eighth European Championship title behind him. His brother Tomass Dukurs, who shared the title of European Champion last year after achieving the same time as Martins, won silver in the European Championships ahead of Alexander Tretiakov of Russia.
Bobsleigh pilot Mariama Jamanka (GER) and her brakewoman Annika Drazek were the surprise winners of the European Championships in the two-woman bobsleigh in front of a home crowd in Winterberg. In the World Cup, the former hammer thrower also made it onto the podium for the first time after placing second only behind Elana Meyers Taylor/Kehri Jones of the USA. Silver medallist Nadezhda Sergeeva (RUS) and bronze medallist Christina Hengster (AUT) will be travelling to the BMW IBSF World Cup in St. Moritz after winning the first ever European Championship medals for Russia and Austria.
Bobsleigh pilot Francesco Friedrich of Germany achieved his third win of the season in the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg and also secured the title in the 2017 IBSF European Championships after finishing ahead of team mate Johannes Lochner (GER). It was Francesco Friedrich’s second victory in the European Championships after taking the title in 2015. Lochner, who was the runner-up in the 2015 and 2016 World Championships, achieved a double success in Winterberg with his first podium finish in the two-man bobsleigh World Cup and his first ever medal in the European Championships. Oskars Kibermanis/Matiss Miknis of Latvia took the bronze to secure the first European Championship medal of their career.
In the four-man bobsleigh, pilot Johannes Lochner of Germany won the title in his first ever European Championship appearance. The Junior World Champion pushed Nico Walther’s team (GER) into silver. The Austrian quartet headed by pilot Benjamin Maier will arrive in St. Moritz with a European Championship bronze.
Halfway through the BMW IBSF World Cup season, following the four of eight races, athletes from five countries currently lead the overall standings: Jacqueline Lölling (GER, women’s skeleton, 829 points), Martins Dukurs (LAT, men’s skeleton, 811), Kaillie Humphries (CAN, two-woman bobsleigh, 834), Yunjong Won (KOR, two-man bobsleigh, 736) and Alexander Kasjanov (RUS, four-man bobsleigh, 787).
St. Moritz, the venue for the fifth round of the 2016/2017 BMW IBSF World Cup, is one of the most illustrious names in ice track sports. The world-famous winter sports resort in the Swiss region of Upper Engadin is home to the Olympia Bob Run St. Moritz-Celerina, the only natural ice track in the world that still hosts bobsleigh and skeleton races. The course of the 1,722 m track between Badrutt’s Park in St. Moritz at an altitude of 1,852 m and Celerina-Cresta at 1,738m, has changed very little in the last 100 years. And the same is true of its design. At the end of November every year, a crew from South Tyrol spends three weeks constructing the new ice track for the season using 5,000m³ snow and 4,000m³ water. The only concessions to modified technology and today’s heavier sleds are a larger curve radius, some stone and wood reinforcement, particularly in the Horseshoe curve, and the extension of the outrun area. ©RWH2017
IBSF media guides, starting lists, reports and results in the new press area at ibsf.org
St. Moritz (RWH): Journalists can now look forward to a fresh new look and more extensive information on the press pages, available under the “Press” menu at ibsf.org or directly at http://www.ibsf.org/en/media-contacts. For the 2016/2017 BMW IBSF World Cup, the menu will contain starting lists for the first runs of all events and the latest media guides published by the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation IBSF.
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 and World Championship event.
The press area also contains information on media accreditation and 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
St. Moritz (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:
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/de.
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/de/sender.
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
St. Moritz timetable
On the sidelines
Sabina Hafner (SUI) is set to make her World Cup comeback on her home track in St. Moritz. The Swiss bobsleigh pilot, who was Junior World Champion in 2007, 2009 and 2010 and runner-up in the 2010 European Championships, officially ended her sporting career back in 2012. Four years later in summer 2016, the Facebook page for the new team announced that “The Hafner bobsleigh team is back on the track”. During her time away from the track, the 32-year-old athlete completed a degree in electrical technology. The start of Sabina Hafner’s comeback season reflects the qualification standards for the BMW IBSF World Cup. She was required to complete five races on three different tracks, which she achieved by competing in the IBSF European Cup. Hafner and her bobsleigh team managed to secure two victories (Königssee/race 2 and St. Moritz) and two third places (Königssee/race 1 and Altenberg) for a total of four podium finishes. Sabina Hafner will therefore arrive in St. Moritz for her home World Cup as the overall leader in the European Cup standings. The Swiss athlete and her team have already announced that their aim is to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in the Korean city of PyeongChang. ©RWH2017
Matthias Biedermann (GER) and Lucy Chaffer (AUS) celebrated their marriage in autumn 2016. Swiss Sliding, Switzerland’s winter sliding sport association, congratulated the former skeleton athletes on its Facebook page at the end of September. Switzerland’s head skeleton coach Matthias Biedermann won silver in the Junior World Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and secured bronze in the 2004 European Championships. In 2010, the now 33-year-old switched to coach Latvia’s skeleton athletes. Under his leadership, pilot Martins Dukurs has gone on to win two Olympic silver medals, four World Championship titles, seven golds in the European Championships (sharing the title with brother Tomass Dukurs in 2016) and a total of seven overall wins in the World Cup. Matthias Biedermann has also taken a title with the Swiss skeleton pilots: In 2009, pilot Gregor Stähli won gold in the World Championships. Lucy Chaffer is a former skeleton athlete for Australia. She competed in the World Cup between 2010 and 2014, finishing seventh overall in 2013. Lucy Chaffer finished tenth in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (RUS). ©RWH2017
The World Cup winners and medal winners in St. Moritz in January 2016
BMW IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup 2016/2017: Overview and track information
The winners at the BMW IBSF World Cup 2016/2017
Photo: Eugen Eslage
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Defending champion Jacqueline Lölling with first win of the season at BMW IBSF World Cup