Alexander Gassner second ahead of Axel Jungk
Altenberg (RWH) A German trio are leading the field at the mid-way point in the men’s skeleton World Championships. At the 2020 BMW IBSF World Championships in Altenberg, Christopher Grotheer is the surprise leader after the second of four heats. The 2019 Team World Champion, who did not compete in this season’s World Cup, joined the German World Championship team right at the last second after his team-mate Felix Keisinger secured his own place in the competition by winning the Junior World Championships. Setting a track record (55.86 seconds) on his second run, Christopher Grotheer will now begin the second day of World Championship action as the athlete to beat.
Second place is currently held by his team-mate Alexander Gassner (GER, 0.09 seconds back), who finished fifth in the overall 2019/2020 BMW IBSF World Cup. Axel Jungk (GER, 0.35 seconds back), the third member of the German trio and the fastest athlete in heat one, fell back to third place at the mid-way point in the World Championships.
Martins Dukurs (LAT, 0.52 seconds back), the defending World Champion and current record holder with a total of six World Championship golds to date, ended the first day in fourth place.
Olympic Champion Sungbin Yun (KOR, 0.89 seconds back) is fifth at the half-way point ahead of Junior World Champion Felix Keisinger (GER, 0.98 seconds back).
Made up of runs three and four, the World Championship finals in Altenberg will take place from 1:00 p.m. on Friday, 28 February. ©RWH2020
Photos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis
Christopher Grotheer (GER, 2019 Team World Champion, fourth in the 2017 and 2018 European Championships)
“I feel like I can race a bit more freely here, sure. I’ve trained well the last few weeks and found the speed that somehow seemed to evade me all season. The second run was good from start to finish. Tomorrow is a new day and you need consistency to keep up with the medals.”
Alexander Gassner (GER, fifth in the 2020 European Championships and 2020 overall World Cup, ninth in the 2018 Olympics)
“We have an amazing team and we have spent loads of time training on this track this year. Equipment plays a huge role on a track as tough of Altenberg. The ice master Ralf Mende somehow always manages to conjure up a track ripe for a track record so you have to be prepared.”
Axel Jungk (GER, runner-up in the 2017 World Championships, second place in the 2018 overall World Cup)
“The race was wide open after the training week. The fact that the track is so quick today is definitely good for us. My first run was good so I was actually optimistic for the second one. But Christopher and Alex's racing is of such a high standard and so consistent right now, it’s world class. I hope I can go on the attack again tomorrow.”