Nicoll & Placide seventh so far

Nicoll & Placide seventh so far

Adelé Nicoll and Kya Placide enjoyed an outstanding start to the Women’s Bobsleigh at the World Championships in Winterberg as they finished Day 1 in seventh place.

The Welsh pair clocked a combined time of 1 minute 53.05 seconds to surpass expectations in the first half of the four-heat, showpiece event of the season.

Nicoll, who only switched from push athlete to pilot after the Beijing Olympics, was ninth in the monobob last week and is now on course to better that brilliant performance in her first major championships in the front seat.

Placide only joined the GB set up this summer and has just two top-tier races to her name but the 19-year-old helped Nicoll to the ninth fastest starts in each heat as she made light of her inexperience.

No GB women’s team has finished higher than seventh since Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke won gold in Lake Placid In 2009.

Only teams with vastly more ice time than Nicoll and Placide sit ahead of the Brits in the overnight standings, with the reigning World Champion; last season’s World Championship silver and bronze medalists; the current Olympic Champion; a five times Olympic medalist; and a six-times World Cup medal winner making up the top six.

RXEC 2023

Adelé Nicoll and Kya Placide are in their first season together

Germany again dominates the medal spots, just as they did across the skeleton and the monobob and 2-man bobsleigh events last week.

The home nation are on for a repeat of the clean sweep of medals they won in the 2-man competition last Sunday as Lisa Buckwitz sits first, Laura Nolte second and Kim Kalicki third ahead of the final two runs.

Kaysha Love and Elana Meyers-Taylor are fourth and sixth respectively, with Australia’s Bree Walker sandwiched between the two Americans.

Nicoll and Placide are 0.35 seconds behind Meyers-Taylor and 0.07 seconds clear of Switzerland’s Melanie Hassler, who is in eighth.

The race concludes tomorrow, with Run 3 scheduled to start at 1.30pm.

There is also men’s action this weekend as two British teams go in the 4-man competition on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.

Brad Hall, Taylor Lawrence and Greg Cackett will look to repeat their history-making, medal-winning showing from St Moritz 13 months ago when Leon Greenwood joins them in the GB1 crew, while Adam Baird, Jens Hullah, Austin Millward and Calum Dixon all make their World Championship debuts for GB2.

Hall, Lawrence, Cackett and the injured Arran Gulliver won the country’s first 4-man World Championship medal for 84 years when they took silver in Switzerland last season.

Runs 1 and 2 of the 4-man take place at 9am GMT tomorrow, with Runs 3 and 4 set for 1pm on Sunday.

This year’s World Championships take place in Winterberg, Germany from February 22nd - March 3rd, with the schedule as follows:

Thurs 22 - Sun 25 Feb
Women's Skeleton: Stoecker 4th; Coltman 6th
Men's Skeleton: Weston 2nd; Wyatt 4th; Thompson 8th
Skeleton Mixed Team Competition: Stoecker & Weston 2nd; Coltman & Wyatt 4th
Women's Monobob: Nicoll 9th
2-man Bobsleigh: Hall & Lawrence 4th; Stanbridge & Hullah 23rd

Fri 1 Mar
Women's Bobsleigh Heats 1&2 2pm

Sat 2 Mar
4-man Bobsleigh Heats 1&2 9am
Women's Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 1.30pm

Sun 3 Mar
4-man Bobsleigh Heats 3&4 1pm

All races will be shown live on the IBSF YouTube channel and website