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Olympia 2022: German skeleton pilots underpin medal ambitions

The German skeleton pilots find their way around the Olympic track – above all Hannah Neise and Christopher Grotheer.

The 21-year-old junior world champion Neise, who had to fear for her trip to China shortly before the Winter Games due to a corona infection, set the best and second-best time in the first two training runs in the Yanqing Sliding Center. World Champion Grotheer was unbeatable in both rounds.

While Jacqueline Lölling (Winterberg), Olympic silver medalist in Pyeongchang, was at the same time as Neise in the lead in the first run and seventh in the second run, Tina Hermann (Königssee) on Monday was the weakest from a German perspective. The world champion took places 5 and 15. However: The athletes mostly use the training for tests, so the runs are only of limited significance.

As expected, Kim Meylemans was also able to train. The pilot, who was born in Amberg in Upper Palatinate but is starting for Belgium, tested positive for Corona after her arrival in Beijing and was then isolated in a quarantine hotel. Despite negative tests afterwards, the 25-year-old was supposed to stay there before she was allowed to move to the Olympic Village after an emotional and sensational call for help on social media.

In the men’s race, Axel Jungk (Oberbärenburg) lined up behind Grotheer in the first run, after which he finished ninth. The two-time vice world champion only arrived in China on Thursday after, like Neise, he had contracted the virus shortly before leaving. Alexander Gassner (Winterberg) took tenth and fifth place.

The women’s skeleton race takes place on Friday and Saturday, with the men competing on Friday and Saturday. Unlike in the World Cup, the medals are awarded after four runs.

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