Stephanie Schneider secures her first ever overall World Cup victory
Sigulda (RWH) The 2019/2020 BMW IBSF World Cup season has ended with a few surprises. At the final in Sigulda (LAT), which also counted as the European Championships, first place went to Nadezhda Sergeeva/Elena Mamedova (RUS). They therefore became the first Russians to win the European Championship title in the 2-woman bobsleigh. The victory also marked the pair’s first ever win in the BMW IBSF World Cup.
Second place in the World Cup race and the European Championship silver medal went to Andreea Grecu/Ioana Gheorghe of Romania for another surprising result. The pilot, who was the 2018 Junior World Champion and the overall winner of the 2020 European Cup, finished 0.02 seconds behind the winners to secure her first podium finish in the BMW IBSF World Cup and the first ever European Championship medal for Romania in the 2-woman bobsleigh. In second heat, Grecu/Gheorghe set a new start (5.29 seconds) and track record (50.96 seconds).
Third in the World Cup (0.07 seconds back) and European Championship bronze in Sigulda went to Stephanie Schneider/Lisette Thöne (GER). With a total of 1611 points, Schneider, who finished second in the 2019 World Championships, managed to win her first ever overall victory in the BMW IBSF World Cup.
The Olympic and World Champion and defending World Cup title holder Mariama Jamanka of Germany finished fourth in Sigulda with Erline Nolte and finished the 2019/2020 BMW IBSF World Cup in second place overall (1573 points).
The race for the final World Cup points and European Championship medals was packed full of suspense right from the word go: After heat one, a mere 0.07 seconds separated the sleds from first to fourth place.
Third place in the overall World Cup went to Canada’s Christine de Bruin (1514 points) for the first time. The 2019 World Championship bronze medallist and her brakewoman Kristen Bujnowski finished fifth in Sigulda.
Nadezhda Sergeeva (RUS, 2020 European Champion, second in the 2017 European Championships)
“It’s just – wow, I don’t know what to say. An incredibly tight race. At one point, we were just a few hundredths behind and then we pulled back. Our good start really played a key role today.”
Andreea Grecu (ROU, 2020 European Championship silver medallist, overall winner of the 2020 European Cup, 2018 Junior World Champion)
“I’m in shock to be honest. That’s our first World Cup podium and then to get European Championship silver, too. This is all new to me and really very special. All the work that we’ve put in over the last few years has paid off today. I’m very happy.”
Stephanie Schneider (GER, overall winner of the 2020 World Cup, silver medallist in the 2019 World Championships, 2018 European Champion)
“Today’s a day for celebrations. I don’t think anyone – not even myself – thought that we’d make it onto the podium today. I’m pretty pleased that Lisette had such a great last race and I was able to get the overall World Cup as well.”