Latvian bobsleigh team The last or 12th doubles competition of the World Cup (WC) season will be held today with three pilots – Oskars Melbārds, Oskars Ķibermanis and Emīls Cipulis,
The first trip will be at 13.15 Latvian time, but the second – at 14.45. The competition will be broadcast live on Latvian Television Channel 7.
Ķibermanis together with Matīss Miknis will start as the fifth, Olympic champion Melbārdis together with pusher Edgars Nemmi will go on the track with number 11, but Cipulis with Ivo Dan Kleinberg will go on the track as 23rd out of 25 crews.
The leading bobsleigh pilot Ķibermanis has not started in the World Cup since the end of December last year, when he won silver in the doubles race in Innsbruck due to an injury to a caviar muscle. In the last stage in Königsze Ķibermanis returned to the track, not starting at full power and taking 15th place in the doubles competition.
On the Īglsa track this season have already taken place four World Cup stages. Kiberman has climbed the podium at all. In the first paired stage in December he had two third places, but in the repeated stage after a week – two second places.
On this track they have great advantages for crews who have a good start, because the track is short and relatively simple. Therefore, the crew of Francesco Friedrich, a German, has the best chance of victory. The start record of the track has belonged to Melbārds and Daumants Dreiškens since 2011 – 4.96 seconds.
Melbārdis has participated in eight doubles competitions this season. , achieving the best result in one of the stages of Sigulda, which was the fourth. In the last three stages in Egls, St. Moritz and Königssee, the athlete took sixth position.
During his career, Melbārdis as a pilot in the Egg World Cup twice won silver. Cipulis, on the other hand, has participated in the World Cup stage for the only time this season in Sigulda, ranking 12th. For his pushing Kleinberg, this will also be the first stage outside the Sigulda track. On November 21 last year, he was pushing Dāvis Kaufmanis, taking the tenth place.
In the overall rating, Friedrich, who has already today can secure a title in a two-man competition. Lohners is next with 2059 points, but Fogts finishes the three with 1794 points. Of the Latvians starting the World Cup with 1534 and 1416 points, Ķibermanis and Bērziņš are in fifth and sixth place, but Melbārdis is tenth with 1136 points.
Friedrich is in the lead of the World Cup with 2460 points, his compatriot Johannes Lohner has accumulated 2269 points, while the Swiss Michael Fogt is in third place with 1794 points. Ķibermanis is in the fifth place with 1638 points, Ralph Bērziņš with 1416 points and the eighth position, but Melbārdis is in the place with 1312 points.
Kaufmanis and Emīls Cipulis, who started in one stage, take the 29th and 30th place in the competition of 32 doubles with 144 and 128 points, respectively.
Ķibermanis and the rest of the Latvian national team did not start at the World Cup in Winterberg, which was also the European Championship, at the beginning of this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak. On Sunday, the fourth quadruple race of the season will take place on the Igls track.
Since 2006, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation has been organizing the World Cup stages together, dividing five sets of medals in one stage – in the skeleton for ladies and gentlemen, in bobsleigh for men in doubles and fours, and for bobsleighers in doubles
Court, The Sigulda track is currently not suitable for bobsleigh quad competitions, therefore two men’s doubles competitions took place in Latvia in one stage. And also for two weeks of competition in Innsbruck, bobsleighers played two competitions for two every week.
After the stage in Königssee there will be the end of the World Cup in Innsbruck , which in the calendar replaced the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games track. After that, the medals of the world championship will be awarded in Altenberg.
The first race for two will be at 10.30 Latvian time, but the second will start at 11.50. The championship will be broadcast live on the channel “Best4Sport TV.”
Latvia’s leading duo Juris and Andris Šici will start with the third number behind two strong German crews Tobias Vendla / Tobias Arlta and Toni Egerta / Sasha Beneken. Mārtiņš Bots / Roberts Plūme will be the fifth on the track, but Oskars Gudramovičs / Pēteris Kalniņš will be the eighth. There are 26 two-man crews on the start list.
It has already been reported that Shici won silver in the sprint world championship on Friday, Gudramovičs / Kalniņš was sixth place, but Bots / Plūme, starting from the start of the doubles for the first time on this track, won the 11th position. The Germans Wonld / Arlts won.
Two people have been honored by Shici, the leaders of the Latvian national team this season, in the main competitions of the World Cup stages, the Sprint Cup. and won a total of eight medals in the team relay. Including Friday’s sprint, Shitz has risen to the podium in the last six races.
Last year, Egerts / Beneken won the world championship in Sochi. Shici made a mistake in the first race, but in the second he was the fastest, which gave the tenth place in the sum. Gudramovičs / Kalniņš was the seventh, but Kristen Putins / Imants Marcinkēvičs took the 16th position.
The first trip for singles will be at 13.30, but the second – at 15.40. Among Latvians, Artūrs Dārznieks will start with the eighth number, Rikas Kristen Rozītis will be the tenth number, and Gints Bērziņš will be the 15th number. 40 athletes are going to start.
On Friday, in the sprint, Bērziņš and Dārznieks were in the tenth and 11th position, respectively, but Rozītis did not exceed the qualification. Of the participants of this championship, the best performance this season was demonstrated by the Gardener, who won the fourth place in the European Championship in Sigulda, only slightly behind the position of the bronze medal. In the last two stages, the talented Bērziņš had better results.
Last year in Sochi with the third place in the second race in the sum of the fifth positions, the leading lone driver of Latvia won. Kristers Aparjods, who due to an injury in this championship, has finished 13th, Inārs Kivlenieks, who finished his career, was 13th, Rozītis was 15th, and Dārznieks – 18th. The winners of the victory were Roman Repilov, who is now forced to start under the flag of the Russian Luge Sports Federation. On Sunday, the women will compete and there will be matches in the team relay.
The track in Königsze hosted the world championship for the last time in 2016, when the Latvian team with Shitz , Tīrumu and Inārs Kivleniekis won the silver team relay. 23 countries, 43 men, 48 women and 29 double crews, have applied for the World Championship
Last year in Sochi, Aparjode won the fourth place , but Aparjod was in fifth place. He also won bronze in the Field Sprint, but Aparjode finished sixth. It is also worth noting the performance of the Latvian team in the team relay, where Aparjodi and Shici won silver awards.
Initially, the world championship was planned on the Whistler ice rink, In Canada, but in September, the FIL Board, together with the Canadian Luge Sports Federation, decided to move the championship to the Könningsee track.
championship in luge is organized for the seventh time. Previously, the strongest luge athletes on the planet were identified here in 1969, 1970, 1974, 1979, 1999 and 2016.
The final of the World Cup season is scheduled for the beginning of February in St. Moritz, where the highest ranking competitions have not taken place since January 2012.