Lausanne (RWH) In two years, the third edition of Youth Olympic Winter Games (YOG) kicks-off the first competition day in Lausanne (SUI). While the future YOG athletes – now between twelve and 16 years old – go to school and work on their sporting skills, their predecessors in the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton compete for points and titles and even Olympic quota spots this weekend (12-14 January).
Jacqueline Lölling from Germany for example in Innsbruck 2012 was the first Youth Olympic Champion in skeleton sport. Last Winter she won the Overall World Cup, was World and European Champion and - as current leader in IBSF ranking - is most likely ahead of her first Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. The same can be said of Belgian Kim Meylemans, 5th in Innsbruck (for GER) and currently 8th in BMW IBSF World Cup.
From the Innsbruck 2012 bobsleigh athletes, ten names can be found in this winter‘s World Cup start lists. Sanne Dekker (NED), Youth Olympic Champion with pilot Marije van Huigenbosch, later paired with Austrias Christina Hengster to the most successful Austrian Duo in womens bobsleigh. Briton Mica McNeill, 2012 YOG silver medallist, is currently 12th in BMW IBSF World Cup. Kimberley Bos (NED), who won bobsleigh bronze in Innsbruck, switched to skeleton and was third at the Olympic test event last March in PyeongChang. Also Romanias Andreea Grecu and Maria Oshigiri from Japan already competed at the Innsbruck Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck.
2012 bobsleigh medallists Patrick Baumgartner (ITA/gold), Benjamin Maier (AUT/silver) and Rudy Rinaldi (MON/bronze) as well as Oskars Kibermanis (LAT/4th) and Codie Bascue (USA/7th) all compete at BMW IBSF World Cup in St. Moritz (SUI) this weekend and for Olympic quota places.
The Lillehammer 2016 YOG athletes largely compete in the lower IBSF race series this winter. Monobob gold medallists Laura Nolte and Jonas Jannusch from Germany are both successful in IBSF Europe Cup and on course for medals at Junior European Championships. Skeleton gold medallists Ashleigh Pittaway (GBR) and Evgeniy Rukosuev (RUS) also compete in the Europe Cup series alongside with fellow YOG medallists Agathe Bessard (FRA/bronze), Alexander Hestengen (NOR/silver) and Krists Netlaus (LAT/bronze), who is the current leader in men’s skeleton. Hannah Neise from Germany, 2016 skeleton silver medallist in Lillehammer, returned to IBSF Intercontinental Cup in January 2018 after missing the first half of the season due to injury.©RWH2018
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