Before the world bobsleigh championship runs through the Altenberg track in four weeks, the teams were able to compete again last weekend during a World Cup. To make it even more exciting in Winterberg, the Europeans also determined their best. And as it will this winter, the Germans won again among women. There was gold in the two-man bobsleigh for local hero Laura Nolte with pusher Deborah Levi. With a gap of 0.42 seconds, Kim Kalicki and Ann-Christin Strack landed in second place and the defending champion Mariama Jamanka from BRC Thuringia, and her pusher Leonie Fiebig, together with the Austrians Katrin Beierl and Jennifer Onasanya, took bronze. On the not very difficult track, Nolte and Levi were able to score especially with their speed at the start.
At the upcoming world championship, the bobsled women will have to perform a second discipline for the first time, namely monobob. So far it has not been very popular with established bobsleigh pilots, as they barely had time to prepare for its introduction. The premiere at the World Cup in Innsbruck was chaotic and was more like renting a rental car: the bobsleighs were lifted into the track, the pilots sat in and just drove off. The top speed is similar to an old Beetle, it is 114 “things”. Mariama Jamanka said: “It’s like putting a Formula 1 driver in a go-kart.” In the monobob, other lanes also have to be driven. For better or worse, the bobsleigh pilots will occupy themselves with the device, because only those who steer it through the track are allowed to start at the Olympics in Beijing.
Wolfgang Hoppe played a major role in the introduction of the monobob. The women’s national coach has found advantages in the new ice channel vehicle: “It’s perfect for beginners, and disabled people can use it to compete in the Paralympics.” Since the International Olympic Committee (IOC) now called for more equality in the Olympic disciplines, a second had to be made for women here. The monobob idea is not bad, but the introduction is very difficult. So far there are no plans to train specialists and to let women from less financially strong countries take the steering ropes. Monobob is mandatory for the two-man pilots and that’s it. There should be a lot of women at the Olympics, but not more athletes.
Australian Bree Walker has been specializing in monobob for two years and is a favorite in Beijing. She was also able to win the World Cup premiere in Igls. Jamanka only crossed the finish line second to last. Walker then has no chance in the two-man bobsleigh, which she has to drive, but which she hardly trains.