CChristopher Grotheer from BRC Thuringia defended his surprise title from last year at the Skeleton World Championship in Altenberg. The 28-year-old, who did not win a World Cup race this winter, made a furious race to catch up on his favorite track and raced past the leading Russian Alexander Tretyakov with two fastest times on Friday. After four runs, Grotheer was 0.28 seconds ahead of the 2014 Olympic champion.
As in the previous year, Alexander Gassner from BSC Winterberg came third. The two-time junior world champion Felix Keisinger from WSV Königssee could not hold third place after the third run and completed the good results of the Germans in fourth. The 16th place of six-time world champion Martins Dukurs from Latvia and 17th place of Pyeongchang Olympic champion Yun Sungbin from South Korea were disappointing.
Tina Hermann in front of Jacqueline Lölling
Before that, Tina Hermann had become skeleton world champion for the third time in a row thanks to an outstanding final. The 28-year-old from Königssee prevailed after four races in Altenberg, only in the last run pushed her team rival Jacqueline Lölling from Winterberg into second place. Eleven hundredths of a second separated the two best female pilots of recent years.
World champion thanks to a strong last run: Tina Hermann
Third place went to Russian Jelena Nikitina, 1.6 seconds behind the leaders. Sophia Griebel from BRC Thuringia came in fourth at the same time as the Russian Alina Tarariankowa. Both missed the podium by only two hundredths of a second. Junior world champion Hannah Neise (Winterberg) in seventh place completed the strong German result.
For the successful German women it was the fifth world championship title in a row, for Hermann the fourth overall. In 2017 Lölling won World Cup gold. In the past World Cup season, however, both had had an unusually difficult time. Lölling only won one race and also took third place, Hermann even had no win until Friday, but now she has won the most important race of the winter. Janine Flock had won the overall World Cup confidently, but the Austrian only landed on the completely disappointing 16th place in Altenberg.