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Skeleton European Champion Nikitina wins BMW IBSF World Cup opener in Innsbruck; Photo: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis

Kimberley Bos second, Kim Meylemans with first podium for Belgium

Innsbruck (RWH) Skeleton athlete Elena Nikitina of Russia started the 2021/2022 BMW IBSF World Cup the way she ended last season - with a victory in Innsbruck (AUT). At the World Cup opener for the Olympic season, the European Champion tied her start record in the second race run and came out on top of the field.

Kimberley Bos of the Netherlands (0.10 seconds back), overall World Cup bronze medallist in 2021, finished second in Innsbruck and has now been on the podium in six of the last eight World Cup races.

A small piece of sporting history in women's skeleton was written by Kim Meylemans (BEL, 0.13 seconds back) in third place. She was the first skeleton athlete from Belgium to celebrate a podium finish in the BMW IBSF World Cup. The 25-year-old, who finished fifth in the 2020 World Championships, had even left the entire world elite behind her in the first race run and had entered the second run in the lead.

Alina Tararychenkova (RUS) in fourth place celebrated her best World Cup result so far.

World Cup defending champion Janine Flock (AUT) finished sixth in the opening race on her home track, World Champion Tina Hermann (GER) came in eighth. 

Athletes from eight nations were represented in the top ten at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Innsbruck.

From Team China, host of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, Dan Zhao (19th place) and Huiyang Lin (24th place) competed in women's skeleton. For Dan Zhao, seventh at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, it was her first start in an IBSF race outside the youth and junior levels.

In the BMW IBSF World Cup 2021-2022, Elena Nikitina (RUS, 225 points) is leading after the first of eight stops ahead of Kimberley Bos (NED, 210) and Kim Meylemans (BEL, 200).

For more detailed information including athlete profiles and World Cup results please visit ibsf.org. Photos for editorial use can be found at Flickr. ©RWH2021

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