Jacqueline Lölling wins overall World Cup
Sigulda (RWH) The title of 2020 Skeleton European Champion has been awarded to Elena Nikitina (RUS), while the overall victory in the 2019/2020 BMW IBSF World Cup has gone to Jacqueline Lölling.
For European skeleton athletes, the World Cup final in Sigulda (LAT) also counted as the European Championships. Even by the end of heat one, no-one was left in doubt of a victory by the eventual winner of the World Cup race and European Champion Elena Nikitina of Russia. By the end of the race, the Russian athlete had set a starting record (4.90 seconds) and track record (51.85 seconds) and secured her second European Championship title after 2017.
In a surprise result, second place and European Championship silver went to Switzerland. Marina Gilardoni, who was fourth after heat one, equalled Nikitina’s track record during her second run, enabling her to climb two places up to the medals. After bronze in 2016, this marks the Swiss athlete’s best European Championship result. Third place in Sigulda went to Janine Flock of Austria. The 2016 and 2019 European Champion has therefore won a medal in each one of her five European Championship appearances since 2016.
The race for the last few points at the finals in Sigulda was packed full of suspense. At the end of heat one in Sigulda, Lölling and Flock were in ninth and second place – a result which would have seen both athletes tied on points at the top of the overall standings. Ultimately, however, eighth place in Sigulda was enough to win the Olympic silver medallist Jacqueline Lölling the crystal globe trophy for the third time after 2017 and 2018 on 1632 points. Janine Flock (AUT, 1614 points) finished second overall ahead of Elena Nikitina (RUS, 1595). With her victory, the Russian athlete was able to push Tina Hermann back into fourth place after the World Champion crashed on her second run and finished back in 15th.
Elena Nikitina (RUS, 2017 and 2020 European Champion, overall winner of 2019 World Cup)
“Of course, I’m really happy today. And the win has given me even more confidence for the World Championships. But I love the track in Altenberg anyway so I can’t wait!”
Jacqueline Lölling (GER, 2018 Olympic silver medallist, 2017 World and European Champion)
“I could have done with it being less tense today. The track in Sigulda and I have never become firm friends. So, I’m all the more relieved that it was enough to get the overall victory right at the last minute.”
Marina Gilardoni (SUI, 2020 European Championship silver medallist)
“The training sessions went really well and were consistent. But after I crashed at the World Cup race here in Sigulda last year, my first run was mentally tough. I was more relaxed during heat two and tried to stop making mistakes. But I’m really surprised to get silver.”
Janine Flock (AUT, 2016 and 2019 European Champion, overall winner of 2015 World Cup)
“I am a bit conflicted. I know I can do better. It was the same throughout the season. We would work really hard but I couldn’t get it together on race day. That annoys me, even though I’m happy with my medal.”