Winterberg (RWH): Some athletes in the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) are facing a mammoth task this 2017/2018 Olympic season. Why? The Olympic quotas – which are due to be allocated on 14 January 2018 – will be based on the IBSF rankings, which in turn are calculated using the points from every racing series.
Instead of enjoying a few days off between the North American World Cup events and the fourth round of the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg, many bobsleigh and skeleton athletes instead chose to compete in the North American Cup and European Cup.
The toughest schedule so far is to be likely that of skeleton athlete Katie Tannenbaum from the U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV), who will not compete at stage four of the World Cup. Ahead of Winterberg, the 32-year-old has already completed eight races in the Intercontinental Cup, North American Cup and World Cup, which is normally the amount that athletes would complete in one season. John Farrow of Australia used the World-Cup-free week for two skeleton races in the North American Cup in Park City, raking in 150 points for his IBSF ranking by securing two victories.
The North American Cup also saw World Champion Elana Meyers Taylor competing along with Justin Olsen and Nick Cunningham, who each won one of the two 2-man bobsleigh races in Park City. In the 4-man bobsleigh, Olsen and Cunningham each secured a gold and silver medal while Elana Meyers Taylor – who had a male brake squad and was the only female pilot to race – secured one fourth and one fifth-place finish in the 4-man event.
In the European Cup in Königssee, 4-man World Champion Johannes Lochner (GER) attempted to make up some of the points he lost by finishing 21st in the 2-man World Cup in Whistler, while Christina Hengster (AUT) took the same approach after crashing out of the season opener in Lake Placid (USA). Lochner secured victory in the men’s events while Hengster finished fifth in the women’s bobsleigh.
Other World Cup pilots appearing at the European Cup in Königssee included Benjamin Maier (AUT), Belgium’s Elfje Willemsen and An Vanniuewenhuise and the British bobsleigh team with Bruce Tasker, Bradley Hall and Lamin Deen. ©RWH2017
Photo: IBSF/Viesturs Lacis
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