Latvian bobsledders prepare for World Cup stage in Sigulda

The Latvia bobsleigh teams piloted by both Oskars (Ķibermanis and Melbārdis) have had their first official training session before the combined European Championships and BMW International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation World Cup stage at the track in Sigulda from February 14-16, according to a Latvian Television broadcast on February 11.

The third Latvian pilot, Ralfs Bērziņš, didn't participate as he had just returned from the Junior World Championships. The leading World Cup German pilots, including Francesco Friedrich, also missed the first few training sessions. It won't be his first time on the track though, last year his German team bumped the team piloted by Ķibermanis down to second place in Sigulda. 

“Well, we've also made mistakes here. We have to do the maximum, and then I think something better could happen, because last year, because of mistakes on the second day, we lost,” said Ķibermanis.

On Saturday Ķibermanis' and Bērziņš' 2-man bobsleigh teams will represent Latvia in the World Cup stage, and on Sunday, which will host both the World Cup and European Championships, the Latvian Olympic Champion bobsledder Oskars Melbārdis will return with his team.

“I've been happy going for a ride during the training and that Ķibermais came to see how far I'm along the track. It's going to be a tough fight,” said Melbārdis.

As previously reported, the event in Sigulda will feature a presentation ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic medals awarded to Latvian bobsleigh athletes after the Russians were disqualified for doping. The ceremony will include the first bobsleigh gold for and independent Latvia. Entry to the ceremony at the Sigulda track is free of charge, but it can be watched live on Latvian Television, or streamed on the International Olympic TV channel.

The 4-man bobsleigh team made up of Melbārdis, Daumans Dreiškens, Arvis Vilkaste and Jānis Strenga will be awarded a gold medal, and 2-man bobsleigh team composed of Melbārdis and Dreiškens will be awarded bronze. The medals will be presented according to International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations by IBSF President Ivo Ferriani and an IOC Executive Committee member, only the lower steps of the podium will be vacant. The Olympic anthem will be played before presenting the medal, and Latvian one after.
 

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