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BMW IBSF World Cup 2021/2022 arrives in Winterberg for the second time this season, Photos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis

All six Olympic disciplines on the schedule just ten days ahead of the qualification deadline 

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Winterberg (RWH): As the BMW IBSF World Cup arrives in Winterberg (GER), the Olympic season is on the home straight. The event will mark the second time this season that the track in Germany's Hochsauerland region hosts the athletes. During the first 2021/2022 World Cup weekend in Winterberg in December 2021, the team at the track and a spell of cold, sunny weather ensured the ideal racing conditions and record-breaking ice for the track.

In the women’s skeleton, Winterberg will welcome back the current record-holders Elena Nikitina (RUS, starting record 5.07 seconds) and the World Cup leader Kimberley Bos (NED, track record 56.70 seconds). Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) set a new track record (55.50 seconds) for Winterberg in the men’s skeleton. The 2014 Olympic Champion has also held the track’s starting record (4.75 seconds) since January 2014. December also saw athletes in the women’s monobob setting new records for the track: Elana Meyers Taylor (USA) holds both the starting record (5.78 seconds) and track record (58.88 seconds) for Winterberg. 

Ahead of the two final World Cup events this season and just four weeks prior to the opening ceremony to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, a number of countries have attracted attention thanks to their athletes’ strong performances. For instance, athletes from seven countries currently make up the top ten in the World Cup rankings for the women’s skeleton; there have been four gold medallists from four different countries so far, while a further five athletes from four other countries have celebrated at least one podium finish. In the men’s skeleton, seven athletes from five countries have made it onto the list of winners in the six World Cup races so far, including Wenqiang Geng from the Olympic hosts China.

For the first time in Olympic history, female bobsleigh athletes will be represented in two disciplines at the Yanqing Sliding Center in February. The 2-woman bobsleigh celebrated its Olympic debut in Salt Lake City in 2002, and now in Beijing 20 years later, gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in the women’s monobob for the first time. In Winterberg, 21 pilots from eleven countries are registered to compete in the new Olympic discipline, which has been included in every IBSF racing series in the 2021/2022 winter season. Athletes competing in Winterberg include pilots who focus exclusively on monobob, such as Karlien Sleper from the Netherlands and Brazil's Marina Silva Tuono.

The 2-man bobsleigh will be making its Winterberg debut this Olympic season. At the first event in December, the venue hosted two 4-man bobsleigh races. Back then, the Olympic and World Champion Francesco Friedrich, who is also the defending World Cup holder, celebrated his 60th victory in the racing series – and now has the chance to celebrate a brand-new benchmark at the same track: If Friedrich manages to finish in the top three in both the 2-man and 4-man bobsleigh in Winterberg, he will achieve his 99th and 100th podium finishes. Looking back at former results, the chances seem good: The last time that Winterberg’s 2-man and 4-man bobsleigh podiums did not feature Francesco Friedrich was almost five years ago. ©RWH2022

Winterberg timetable
schedule WBG2

Subject to changes – Up-to-date times (local time at the track and the user’s local time) are listed on the IBSF website. ©RWH2022

 

On the sidelines 

Francesco Friedrich (GER) has named his 4-man bobsleigh squad for the Olympics. The World and Olympic Champion, who is keen to add yet another Olympic win to his gold from the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, is planning to compete in the Olympic 4-man race in Beijing on 19 and 20 February with his pushers and brakemen Thorsten Margis, Alexander Schüller and Candy Bauer. Martin Grothkopp, who won Olympic gold with Friedrich’s crew in 2018, will be there as a stand-by. “It is one of the toughest decisions that a pilot has to make. Unfortunately, we aren’t in a 5-man bobsled like they used to be back in the old days,” wrote Friedrich on Instagram. At the 1924 (Chamonix, FRA) and 1928 (St. Moritz, SUI) Winter Games, teams had the option of entering four or five athletes. ©RWH2022   

Mica McNeill (GBR) has become the first 2-woman bobsleigh pilot from Great Britain to win a BMW IBSF World Cup medal for 13 years. The World Cup podium debut of the 2017 Junior World Champion and her push athlete Adele Nicoll in her 51st race in the series was Team GB’s first medal in the 2-woman bobsleigh World Cup since Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke took back-to-back bronze in St Moritz in January 2009 and it was also the first silver since the same pair finished second in Konigssee earlier the same month. Nicola Minichiello is currently the IBSF coordinator for the North American Cup series and was recently named IOC Ambassador against Competition Manipulation. ©RWH2022   

Skeleton athlete Akwasi Frimpong (GHA) has finished in eighth place in the overall standings in the 2021/2022 season of the IBSF North American Cup. This result – to which he contributed with a fifth-place finish in Lake Placid, marking his best IBSF result to date – makes him Africa’s top-performing male skeleton athlete in the overall standings for the racing series. Frimpong, who finished 30th in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang (KOR), had set himself the goal of qualifying for his second Olympics in Beijing 2022. At the end of December, he posted to Instagram that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was self-isolating, meaning he has been forced to miss the final qualification races. ©RWH2022

Online press conference for the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg on January 6

Winterberg (RWH): In the run-up to the BMW IBSF Bob & Skeleton World Cup in Winterberg, there will be an online press conference hosted by Paul Senske. Participants will include coaches and athletes from the German Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton Federation (BSD). Once the press conference has finished, it will also be available to view on YouTube.

https://hochsauerlandkreis.my.webex.com/hochsauerlandkreis.my/j.php?MTID=m8d7f3ec13abbcd61f5f702c613000e73 

Thursday, January 6, 2022, 11 a.m. CET

Meeting-ID: 2377 124 5423

Password: cTR8pzBYm72 (28787929 via telephone and video systems)

This season’s winners in the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup – Skeleton

 Skel WBG2

 

This season’s winners in the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup – Women's bobsleigh BobW WBG2


This season’s winners in the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup – Men's bobsleigh

 BobM WBG2

 

BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg with no fans – “2G+” rules apply for media

Winterberg (RWH): There will be no spectators at the BMW IBSF World Cup event in Winterberg as per the state of North Rhine-Westphalia’s rules on coronavirus in light of current case numbers. 

To be accredited, members of the press must meet Germany’s “2G+” criteria. In addition to proof of full vaccination or recent recovery from COVID-19, an up-to-date negative coronavirus test must also be presented (PCR test less than 48 hours old / lateral flow antigen test less than 24 hours old). Information on free rapid tests in and around Winterberg is available at

https://www.winterberg.de/service-kontakt/corona-infoportal/testzentrum-winterberg/

Medical-grade masks are also mandatory for members of the press, but do not need to be worn in your specified seat in the press centre. ©RWH2022 

 

>> Athlete profiles on ibsf.org with medals tables, news and photos for all athletes 

>> All results from IBSF races and training sessions   

>> Photos are available on the IBSF Flickr account (editorial purposes only and with photo credits!)

>> Press accreditation is available from the respective track – please consult the COVID-19 regulations in good time and register in advance! >> Information on the IBSF’s COVID-19 regulations

 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

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