Old and new faces alike at the BMW IBSF World Cup 2019/2020
All World Champions and defending title holders to take part in the action
Lake Placid (RWH): The BMW IBSF World Cup will welcome the new 2019/2020 season with old and new faces alike. A total of 35 bobsleigh teams and 52 skeleton athletes from 23 nations are registered to compete at the World Cup season opener in Lake Placid.
The current Bobsleigh Olympic Champions, World Champions and defending World Cup title holders, Mariama Jamanka (GER, 2-woman Bobsleigh) and Francesco Friedrich (GER, 2-man and 4-man Bobsleigh), will both be travelling to Lake Placid.
Olympic Champion Jamanka won her first ever overall World Cup and World Championship titles last winter. Friedrich became the first ever bobsleigh athlete to win all of the season's eight races in the 2-man Bobsleigh.
Two fresh new faces will also be contributing to the German bobsleigh team’s efforts at the BMW IBSF World Cup: The current U23 World Champion Kim Kalicki will compete in her first World Cup races in Lake Placid. Laura Nolte, the 2016 Youth Olympic Champion, will then make her début in January for the race on her home track in Winterberg.
One familiar face returning to the World Cup will be bobsleigh pilot Kaillie Humphries, who missed last season. The 34-year-old athlete, who won Olympic gold for Canada in 2010 and 2014 and also won two World Championship titles and four overall World Cups, has been competing for the USA since the start of the season.
The athletes who won’t be competing in the 2019/2020 season due to injury include Chris Spring and Alysia Rissling (CAN) and the World Championship bronze medallist in the 2-man Bobsleigh, Nico Walther (GER). However, Walther is aiming to rejoin the World Cup for the second half of the season, along with Oskars Melbardis (LAT). The 4-man bobsleigh Olympic Champion (2014) and World Champion (2016) began the season in the IBSF Europe Cup.
The Olympic silver medallist Elana Meyers Taylor of the USA has a more positive reason to take a break this season. The 2015 and 2017 World Champion is pregnant with her first child due in March 2020.
The current World Champions and defending World Cup title holders in Skeleton will also be in on the action for the start of the 2019/2020 BMW IBSF World Cup: Tina Hermann (GER) and Elena Nikitina (RUS) in the women's event and Martins Dukurs (LAT) and Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) in the men's. The same goes for Olympic Champion Sungbin Yun of Korea, who finished second in the overall World Cup standings last winter.
Junior World Champion Anna Fernstädtová will be on the starting line at the World Cup in Lake Placid for her first appearance for the Czech Republic. The 22-year-old skeleton athlete already has experience in the World Cup but previously raced under the German flag. Following her performance last season, she has now secured her first World Cup starting place for the Czech team. After taking a year off for professional reasons, the Olympic bronze medallist Dom Parsons of Great Britain will also be returning to race.
Two 2-man Bobsleigh races are scheduled for the first week, with the second World Cup event one week later due to host two 4-man Bobsleigh races instead. ©RWH2019
The schedule for Lake Placid
On the sidelines
Katie Uhlaender (USA), the 2012 Skeleton World Champion, has returned to Team USA after a season’s break. Prior to the start of the season, the 35-year-old won two of the USA’s four selection races and only just missed out on qualifying directly for the BMW IBSF World Cup. Katie Uhlaender started the 2019/2020 season in the IBSF North American Cup. The overall winner of the 2007 and 2008 World Cups won both races in the series’ opening event in Lake Placid (USA). ©RWH2019
Joel Fearon (GBR), who won Olympic bronze in 2014 with pilot John Jackson, is starting the 2019/2020 winter season as a brakeman for Switzerland. According to an announcement by the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA), the 31-year-old has been released from the team for a year. Because he switched nation in time for the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation’s (IBSF) deadline, Joel Fearon is now able to compete in pilot Timo Rohner’s team for a season. The 22-year-old pilot is the son of Marcel Rohner, the 1988 Olympic silver medallist in the 4-man Bobsleigh. Rohner Junior finished his début World Cup race in 17th place in January 2019 (14th in the European Championships). ©RWH2019
Ander Mirambell (ESP) will be taking on a dual role for the 2019/2020 season: on the one hand, racing as an athlete himself and, on other, acting as coach for up-and-coming Skeleton stars Adrián Rodríguez and Paula Raul of Spain. “So, I won’t be competing in all World Cup races myself but will see where Adrián and Paula need me for their races in the North American and Europe Cups,” said Ander Mirambell on marca.com prior to the start of the season. ©RWH2019
2019 defending World Cup title holders, World and European Champions – Skeleton
2019 defending World Cup title holders, World and European Champions – Bobsleigh
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You can follow the action in all races in the 2019/2020 BMW IBSF Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Cup on our live stream and the live results ticker at ibsf.org as usual. In Latvia, LTV broadcast all events exclusively on TV or in its own livestream. NBC / Olympic Channel (USA), CBC (Canada) and SRG (Switzerland) are showing some World Cup races live, in Germany ARD and ZDF broadcast live or with a short delay. In these countries the livestream on ibsf.org or Youtube is blocked then.
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