Li Yuxi and Yin Zheng with track record in Lillehammer
Lillehammer (RWH) With Li Yuxi in women's skeleton and Yin Zheng in men's skeleton, athletes from the upcoming Olympic host country China won the first races of the 2021/2022 Skeleton Europe Cup of the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation IBSF. The first two of eight races of the series were scheduled in Lillehammmer (NOR).
Li Yuxi, fifth at the 2020 Junior World Championships, won the first race in women's skeleton with a lead of 1.20 seconds ahead of Sarah Wimmer from Germany and her Chinese teammate Zhi Yangqi (CHN) in third place. In the second Europe Cup, US athlete Mystique Ro (0.84 seconds back) finished second behind the winner from China. Sarah Wimmer came in third. Sara Stokken Rott of the Norwegian Olympic Committee awarded Li Yuxi for the new track record in Lillehammmer (53.33 seconds) and Mystique Ro for the start record (5.06 seconds) with a special prize.
In men's skeleton, the winner in both races was Yin Zheng. The World Cup ninth of Sigulda 2020 set a track record in Lillehammer (52.19 seconds) in the first Europe Cup run of the winter. Defending Europe Cup Champion Cedric Renner finished second, nearly one second behind, ahead of China's Zhu Haifeng. Zhu finished second in the next Europe Cup in Lillehammer behind team mate Yin and ahead of Britain's Laurence Bostock in third place.
16 female and 24 male athletes from a total of 16 nations were at the start of the Skeleton Europe Cup in Lillehammer. ©RWH2021