Two Austrian athletes come as defending title holders in the women’s events
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Innsbruck (RWH): This coming weekend (19–21 November) will see Innsbruck Olympic sliding track (AUT) hosting the opening event in the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup. Athletes will be battling it out for this season’s first World Cup points in six different Olympic disciplines. The Winter Olympic Games, taking place in Beijing in February 2022, will be the first time that both male and female International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation IBSF athletes will be able to compete in three Olympic disciplines each: There will be skeleton, 2-woman bobsleigh and the inaugural year of Women’s Monobob for female athletes, whilst the programme for male athletes will be made up of skeleton, 2-man bobsleigh and 4-man bobsleigh.
Two months left to qualify for the Olympics
When the World Cup opens in Innsbruck, IBSF athletes will have just short of two months and 126 races across all series and disciplines to secure their spot at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. The first points have already been awarded in the IBSF North American Cup, European Cup and Intercontinental Cup.
All of the applicable racing series will end in time for the deadline on 16 January 2022 and their results will be incorporated into the IBSF rankings. These rankings will then be used as a basis for awarding quota spots to each country. Further information on the rules for Olympic qualification in the IBSF events and more about the Winter Olympics can be found here Downloads at ibsf.org.
A record number of athletes to start in the women’s monobob
A total of 28 pilots from 18 countries are registered to compete in the Women’s Monobob World Sseries in Innsbruck – that’s more than at any other world series race that has been part of the BMW IBSF World Cup. In this Olympic season, monobob will be included in all IBSF racing series, which is why it will also be on the agenda at the European and North American Cup events. The list of competitors for Innsbruck includes the monobob and 2-woman bobsleigh World Champion Kaillie Humphries of the USA and the 2-woman bobsleigh Olympic Champion Mariama Jamanka (GER), who won the Olympic test event in Beijing’s Yanqing Sliding Center. However, the roster will also include several athletes who compete exclusively in the monobob, such as the Netherlands’ Karlien Sleper and Simidele Adeagbo of Nigeria.
Austria’s home team opens with two defending title holders on the starting line
Austria’s home team will arrive at the opening World Cup event in Innsbruck with two defending World Cup title holders: one in the women’s skeleton and one in the 2-woman bobsleigh. Last season, Janine Flock (AUT) finished on the podium in all eight women’s skeleton World Cup races and also secured three gold medals, giving her her second overall win in the BMW IBSF World Cup after 2015. Her team-mate Katrin Beierl’s overall win in the 2-woman bobsleigh was a ground-breaking achievement: The European Championship bronze medallist became Austria’s first female bobsleigh pilot to secure the crystal trophy awarded to the overall winner. And last season’s overall wins were particularly special for the Austrian athletes as the 2020/2021 World Cup finale was held on their home turf in Innsbruck. ©RWH2021
The opening World Cup event in Innsbruck
Subject to changes – Up-to-date times (local time at the track and the user’s local time) are listed on the IBSF website. ©RWH2021
On the sidelines
For the Olympic season, Chris Spring (CAN) will be using a very special sled in the 4-man bobsleigh. Prior to the start of the season, Francesco Friedrich (GER) sold the Canadian the sled that he piloted to gold in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and to two World Championship titles in 2019 and 2020. “May the sled always bring the team safely to the finish line” wrote the record-breaking World Champion on the Friedrich bobsleigh team’s Instagram page. ©RWH2021
Nicole Silveira (BRA) has started the Olympic season with the first three victories of her career. At the opening event to the IBSF North American Cup in Whistler (CAN), the Brazilian skeleton athlete beat her 18 competitors from 13 countries in all three of the races – in the third race on the 2010 Olympic track, she achieved an almost one-second lead over the athlete in second place. A few days later, the Brazilian Olympic Committee awarded the 27-year-old her second Brasil Olímpico Award for ice sports after her win in 2019. ©RWH2021
Mike Douglas (CAN) will be providing coaching support for skeleton athlete Shannon Galea of Malta in the 2021/2022 season. The 50-year-old Canadian, who finished eleventh in the World Championships at his last race in 2012, joined the athlete on the starting line for the first time at the opening IBSF North American Cup event in Whistler. Malta’s Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation is one of the newest members of the IBSF – to enable her to even compete, Shannon Galea first had to initiate the federation’s creation and its acceptance as a member of the IBSF. She competed in her first IBSF race in January 2021. ©RWH2021
Jonathan Yaw (MAS) is Malaysia’s first IBSF athlete. The country has been a member of the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation IBSF since 2021. The 25-year-old initially competed as a skeleton athlete for Australia in 2020, winning an IBSF race in PyeongChang in March 2021. Competing for Malaysia, Jonathan Yaw finished in 27th, 23rd and 20th at the IBSF North American Cup event in Whistler (CAN). ©RWH2021
2021 defending World Cup title holders, World and European Champions – Skeleton
2021 defending World Cup title holders, World and European Champions – Bobsleigh
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As usual, all races in the 2020/2021 BMW IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup will be available to view on a live stream on ibsf.org (with live results ticker) or Youtube. Information about channels and TV broadcasts is available at ibsf.org/en/broadcasters
Further information, photos and videos are available on our social media channels / @IBSFsliding