Preview BMW IBSF World Championships: First week with skeleton, monobob and 2-man bobsleigh

Preview BMW IBSF World Championships: First week with skeleton, monobob and 2-man bobsleighPhotos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis

Preview as PDF

Skeleton mixed team event celebrates premiere of reaction start

St. Moritz (RWH): St. Moritz in Switzerland is regarded as the birthplace of bobsleigh and skeleton. The first World Championships to be held on the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympia Bobrun track took place in 1931 for athletes competing in the 4-man bobsleigh. And now 92 years later, athletes will be battling it out for titles and medals in eight disciplines at the BMW IBSF World Championships: The women’s skeleton, men’s skeleton, mixed skeleton, women’s monobob and 2-man bobsleigh races will take place in week 1 The 2-woman bobsleigh, 4-man bobsleigh and the inaugural para bobsleigh races will then follow in week 2. ©RWH2023

Women’s skeleton

From the list of favourites

Kimberley Boss (NED)

The overall World Cup winner and 2022 Olympic bronze medalist was crowned last season’s European Champion in St. Moritz. She is currently third in the overall BMW IBSF World Cup standings.

Tina Hermann (GER)

She is the record-breaking World Champion with four titles (2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021). She won the 2020 and 2021 overall World Cup titles in St. Moritz – and was also crowned Junior World Champion here in 2010! She is the 2023 European Champion and is currently leading the overall World Cup.

Mirela Rahneva (CAN)

She celebrated two of her four World Cup wins in St. Moritz and is currently overall second in the BMW IBSF World Cup.

Janine Flock (AUT)

She missed the first half of the season due to a back injury but recently

won her eleventh successive medal at the European Championships in Altenberg. She has already won three World Cup races in St. Moritz, as well as one European Championship gold.

Dark horses

Jaclyn Narracott (AUS)

Last year in St. Moritz, the Olympic silver medalist from Beijing 2022 celebrated Australia’s first ever World Cup victory in the women’s skeleton.

Jacqueline Lölling (GER)

She failed to qualify for the German World Cup team for the 2022/2023 season but has taken her team-mate Hannah Neise’s spot after Neise secured her own independent spot at the World Championships by winning gold at the Junior World Championships. She was the World Champion in 2017.

Hannah Neise (GER)

She is the Olympic Champion, Junior World Champion and one of the youngest starters in the field. She won gold in St. Moritz at the 2021 Junior World Championships.

Good to know

  • A total of 68 skeleton athletes from 29 countries are registered to compete in the BMW IBSF World Championships.
  • The first men’s skeleton World Champion was crowned in 1982. The venue for the inaugural event? St. Moritz. The first World Championships for the women’s skeleton took place in Innsbruck in 2000.

Men’s skeleton

From the list of favourites

Christopher Grotheer (GER)

He is the 2022 Olympic Champion, the 2020 and 2021 World Champion and is currently leading the BMW IBSF World Cup. His best World Cup result on the Olympia Bobrun track is a bronze medal.

Matt Weston and

Marcus Wyatt (GBR)

The two Brits have won four out of the six World Cup races in the 2022/2023 season. At least one of the two has been on every single podium so far. Matt Weston is the European Champion. Neither has managed to finish on the podium in St. Moritz to date.

Axel Jungk (GER)

He is the 2022 Olympic silver medalist and has already won two World Championship silver medals. His first appearance in St. Moritz was a European Cup race in 2011. He has already finished on the World Cup podium twice at the Olympia Bobrun track.

Dark horses

Seunggi Jung (KOR)

He has not finished in the top ten in St. Moritz yet but has three podium finishes so far this 2022/2023 BMW IBSF World Cup season.

Yan Wengang (CHN)

The Olympic bronze medalist from Beijing came close to climbing the World Cup podium with a fifth-place finish in Winterberg.

Skeleton mixed team event / Reaction start

St. Moritz (RWH): The third ever mixed skeleton team World Championships on 29 January will feature a major update. The new reaction start element will be included for the very first time. Each team is made up of one female athlete and one male athlete from the same country. The female athlete goes first. Once she is ready to start, the countdown will begin with red indicator lights and a corresponding audible signal. After the fifth red light, the lights switch to green anywhere between 0.3 and 1 second later – a time frame that is selected at random by the system – and another signal sounds. The track is then clear and the clock is running. Once the female athlete has reached the finish line, the reaction start process starts over for her team-mate. ©RWH2023

>> Infosheets / PDFs

Women’s monobob

From the list of favourites

Kaillie Humphries (USA)

She is the Olympic and World Champion in the only discipline for female bobsleigh athletes. She has finished on the podium in every race in the 2022/23 BMW IBSF World Cup season, including three victories.

Laura Nolte (GER)

She is fresh from winning the European Championships, and has won two golds and two silvers so far in the 2022/23 BMW IBSF World Cup season. She won the silver medal at the 2022 European Championships in St. Moritz.

Cynthia Appiah (CAN)

The Canadian is normally among the top performers on the starting line. She has finished on the podium three times in the 2022/23 BMW IBSF World Cup season and is third in the overall World Cup standings.

Dark horses

Melanie Hasler (SUI)

The local hero finished seventh at the 2022 Olympics and has only just missed out on the podium at four races in the 2022/23 BMW IBSF World Cup season. She has lots of experience in St Moritz.

Breeana Walker (AUS)

The Australian athlete is one of the most experienced monobob pilots (27 races since 2018). She finished fifth at the 2022 Olympics. She finished third at the World Cup race in Altenberg.

2 man bobsleigh

From the list of favourites

Francesco Friedrich (GER)

He is the most successful male bobsleigh pilot in the world with two Olympic golds and six World Championship titles in the 2-man event. He won his first title from him in 2013 – in St. Moritz. He has been struggling with a muscle injury in his thigh since the new year.

Brad Hall (GBR)

He has secured four podium finishes out of six BMW IBSF World Cup races in the 2022/23 season and hasn’t finished lower than fifth place. He hasn’t managed to finish on the podium in St. Moritz so far.

Johannes Lochner (GER)

He is the 2023 European Champion. The 2022/2023 season has seen the World Cup leader enjoy his most successful 2-man bobsleigh season to date, most recently securing four successive wins.

Dark horses

Markus Treichl (AUT)

The 2022/2023 BMW IBSF World Cup season has seen him enjoy the best results of his career to date. He is sixth in the overall standings. He has taken over Benjamin Maier’s brake crew after Maier retired following the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Michael Vogt (SUI)

The Swiss team’s local hero will arrive for his home World Championships on the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympia Bobrun track with a European Championship silver and four 2-man bobsleigh podium finishes in the BMW IBSF World Cup.

Schedule for the first World Championship week

schedule St. Moritz 1

Subject to changes – Up-to-date times (local time at the track and the user’s local time) are listed on the IBSF website. ©RWH2023

On the sidelines

Jonathan Yaw (MAS) has become his country’s first male athlete to qualify for the BMW IBSF World Championships in St. Moritz. Malaysia is one of the newest members of the IBSF: the Malaysian Association of Bobsleigh and Skeleton joined the international federation in 2021. Jonathan Yaw has competed in the North American Cup, European Cup and Intercontinental Cup; his best result is an eighth-place finish in Lake Placid. ©RWH2023

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *