Overall World Cup winners and European Champions to be crowned
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St. Moritz (RWH): For a large number of athletes, the final stop in the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup tour in St. Moritz (SUI) is once again all about one thing: The eighth race in the season is their final chance to collect important points for their IBSF rankings. Sunday (16 January) marks the end of the qualification period for the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will start in Beijing (CHN) in early February. The IBSF rankings are used as a basis for awarding Olympic places to each country. Further information on the rules for Olympic qualification in the IBSF events and more about the Winter Olympics can be found under Downloads at ibsf.org.
As soon as the races are over, we will also know for certain which athletes are to be awarded the crystal trophy as the overall World Cup winners in their respective disciplines. And, last but not least, the European Champions in all six Olympic disciplines will also be crowned at St. Moritz-Celerina Olympia Bobrun track.
In the women’s skeleton, Dutch athlete Kimberely Bos is on the cusp of claiming the first overall World Cup win for the Netherlands. The 28-year-old, who finished third overall in the 2020/2021 BMW IBSF World Cup, is enjoying the best season of her career this Olympic winter, celebrating her home country’s first two World Cup victories in skeleton. Bos’s best World Cup result in St. Moritz to date is a fifth-place finish in January 2017. Elena Nikitina will arrive in St. Moritz as the defending European Champion. The Russian athlete won her fourth European Championship title in skeleton in 2021.
In the men’s skeleton, current leader Martins Dukurs of Latvia could be celebrating his eleventh overall victory in St. Moritz – and his twelfth European Championship title. The defending European Champion is Alexander Tretiakov of Russia, whose gold in Winterberg in 2021 marked his second Championship title in 14 years.
St. Moritz will see female bobsleigh athletes battling it out for the final points in the overall rankings for the 2-woman bobsleigh and women’s monobob world series – and it will also be the first venue to award a European Championship title in the new Olympic discipline of monobob. The leader in both disciplines ahead of the finale in St. Moritz is Elana Meyers Taylor. The home team from Switzerland is also hoping for some good results in St. Moritz: At last winter’s race on the Olympia Bobrun track, Melanie Hasler finished third to celebrate her first podium finish in the BMW IBSF World Cup. At this season’s penultimate race in Winterberg (GER), her team-mate Martina Fontanive achieved her best result of the season in seventh place.
In the 2-man bobsleigh, almost nothing can stop the Olympic Champion, World Champion and defending World Cup title holder Francesco Friedrich from achieving his fifth overall win. An 18th-place result would be enough to secure Friedrich the title at the finale. Even then, a win in St. Moritz would not give second-place Rostislav Gaitiukevich of Russia enough points to catch the German. Friedrich is also the defending European Championship title holder in the 2-man and 4-man bobsleigh events.
Friedrich already secured the overall World Cup victory in the 4-man bobsleigh in Winterberg at the seventh of this season's eight races. With 1575 points and a lead of 229, it is now impossible for anyone to catch him. ©RWH2022
St. Moritz timetable
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
Olympic gold medallist in the long jump Greg Rutherford (GBR) has been a member of the team at British Bobsleigh & Skeleton (BBSA) since the start of the season. The 34-year-old won Olympic gold at London 2012 and announced his retirement from athletics in 2018. Now, Greg Rutherford is a member of pilot Lamin Deen's 4-man bobsleigh team and is aiming to qualify to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. The Olympic Champion Rutherford made his first appearance as a brakeman on Team Deen at the World Cup event in Winterberg, where the squad – which also featured Sam Blanchet and Luke Dawes – finished in 17th. ©RWH2022
Agathe Bessard (FRA) is the 2022 Junior European Champion in the women’s skeleton. The bronze medallist from the 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games celebrated her first European Cup victory in Altenberg, which also secured her first Junior European Championship title. The title in the men’s skeleton was awarded to Junior World Champion Evgeniy Rukosuev (RUS), who also finished at the top of the rankings in the 2021/2022 IBSF Intercontinental Cup. ©RWH2022
Mihai Pacioianu (ROU) made his first World Cup appearance of the 2021/2022 Olympic winter season in Winterberg, though not in the men’s skeleton – in which he has been competing since 2014 – but in the 2-man bobsleigh. With pilot Mihai Tentea, the 21-year-old U23 World Champion and 2021 Junior European Champion crossed the starting line in a bobsled for the very first time. The pair only just missed out on making the second heat in 21st place. Mihai Pacioianu was supposed to compete as a brakeman in pilot Tentea’s 4-man sled in Winterberg back in 2020 but the squad ended up not competing in that race. In the men’s skeleton, the Romanian finished 28th in the BMW IBSF World Cup last weekend. ©RWH2022
Margot Boch (FRA) has celebrated her first win in the women’s monobob world series. At the IBSF European Cup race in Innsbruck (AUT), she pushed Stephanie Schneider (GER) and Australia’s Ashleigh Warner back into second and third. In the 2-woman bobsleigh, the U23 World Champion and her brakewoman Sandie Clair finished second in Innsbruck. ©RWH2022
This season’s winners in the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup – Skeleton
This season’s winners in the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup – Women's bobsleigh
This season’s winners in the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup – Men's bobsleigh
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