Beijing sliding track a ‘difficult masterpiece’, say German athletes

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The photo taken on September 27, 2020 shows the National Sliding Center track in the Yanqing area for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]

BERLIN – German bobsleigh and skeleton athletes praised the Beijing 2022 sliding track as an uplifting masterpiece.

“It is” a unique song that cannot be compared to any other. The track does not allow any error as it contains several uphill sections, ”2018 skeleton silver medalist Jaqueline Lolling told Xinhua.

2018 Olympic bobsleigh champion Mariama Jamanka said: “This is a track that can easily cause you to lose a run for a few inches due to the difficult parts.”

The 2018 Olympic bobsleigh champion added: “It’s beautifully set in the landscape and unique. It’s really fun to ride on it. But you have to be more specific than anywhere else.”

Both contestants expect Chinese athletes to have a surprise in store for the medal hunt.

Chinese athletes can count on the advantage of competing on a field they know quite well now, said Lolling and Jamanka.

Chinese artists have taken important steps in the development of the skeleton, added Lolling, 26. “We are full of respect for the achievements that have been made in winter sport in China,” she said.

Jamanka mentioned the American, Canadian and Swiss bobsled teams as her strongest rivals. German coaches and athletes will keep a close eye on Chinese athletes competing in upcoming World Cup events, the 31-year-old said.

“It could tell us how far they’ve gone already,” she added. A long experience in competition makes German board athletes one of the Olympic favorites.

Both are happy with the experience gained from the last World Cup event in Beijing, as training and competition have provided valuable knowledge about the particular characteristics of the track.

Lolling spoke about the track videos that German athletes saw ahead of time. Feeling the track and its special parts in action from his perspective “was totally different. No video could cover that. It’s much trickier than expected.”

Lolling and Jamanka are expecting matches under specific circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Not having fans and family around is a problem for me to an extent. But we all know what’s at stake. Ease and freshness is lacking in advance, you still have to be extremely careful,” he said. Lolling said.

No athlete can risk being quarantined for a single day and missing their training and preparation efforts. “We’ve kind of got used to the measurements because they’re pretty much the same everywhere; we’ve known them for almost two years now,” commented Jamanka.

Both are eager to move to the Athletes’ Village. While strict distances and health orders must be observed, “it might not just be daily routines when we start in February,” as Jamanka said.


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