Riga (RWH) Bobsleigh pilot Oskars Melbardis from Latvia, Olympic Champion 2014 and World Champion 2016 in 4-man Bobsleigh, starts the 2019/2020 season in the IBSF Europe Cup. This was announced by the Latvian National Federation in Riga in a press release.
The 31-year-old had missed the post-Olympic winter of 2018/2019 due to injury. In early summer he was now thrown back in preparations due to back injury. "At the moment, I'm not ready for the World Cup", Oskars Melbardis said in the report. "If I would compete there, it would not be fair to the other pilots who worked all summer and are physically stronger."
Latvia has two quota spots in the 2-man and 4-man Bobsleigh for the BMW IBSF World Cup 2019/2020. Pilot Oskars Kibermanis, for example, claimed 4-man silver at the World and European Championships last winter, and finished second in 2-man as well as 4-man Overall World Cup rankings. Ralfs Berzins (22) is the Junior European Champion in 2-man Bobsleigh. In his first World Cup season, he catched attention with finishing seventh in 2-man (December 2018 in Sigulda (LAT)) and eighth in 4-man Bobsleigh (January 2019 in Innsbruck (AUT)).
"If things go well, I will of course try to get back into the World Cup," Oskars Melbardis said. "I missed piloting and will and motivation are still there. But at the moment there is no physical fitness, this just takes time.“
The IBSF Europe Cup Bobsleigh kicks-off on November 23 + 24 in Lillehammer (NOR). ©RWH2019