One month to go: Beijing contenders who missed out on a medal at Pyeongchang 2018

Sometimes you need more than one Olympics to land on the podium. Here are some of the top Beijing 2022 hopefuls who failed to win a medal at the last Olympic Winter Games. 

By Ilya Yashynin
Picture by 2017 Getty Images

Falling at the last hurdle in your quest to win a medal is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to an athlete. Olympics.com brings you the stories of five athletes who missed out on the podium at PyeongChang 2018 but are among the favourites for Beijing 2022.

Joey Mantia (USA)

The USA’s Joey Mantia was an inline skating legend long before he turned his hand to speed skating. By the age of 24, he had won 28 World Championships titles in the non-Olympic roller skating event. Since switching to speed skating, Mantia has also proved his mettle. In 2017 he became the mass start world champion and at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang he finished fourth in the 1000m race.

Since the 2018 Olympics, Mantia has won two more World Championships mass start titles, with the skater taking his last gold medal just one and a half months after contracting COVID-19. Mantia will celebrate his 36th birthday during the Beijing Games and will no doubt be hoping to celebrate with an Olympic medal.

Tina Herrmann (Germany)

Tina Hermann approached PyeongChang 2018 as a three-time world champion in skeleton and in second place in the overall World Cup standings. However, despite her good form, she didn’t manage to win an Olympic medal. After three attempts, the German slider finished fifth, a mere 0.08 seconds behind the bronze medalist Laura Deas.

During the period between PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022, Hermann added four more World Championships wins to her resume. The 29-year-old German is one of the most decorated female skeleton athletes in the world, with the only thing standing between her and absolute greatness an Olympic medal.

Pavel Krotov (ROC)

Freestyle skier Pavel Krotov made his World Cup debut in 2011 together with compatriot Ilya Burov. Both were trained at the same sports school and the two had spent their entire athletic careers side-by-side. At the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, the duo was also close to inseparable: Burov took the bronze in aerials with Krotov finishing fourth.

Pavel Krotov
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

At the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Krotov has an excellent chance to join Burov on the podium. However, if he does, he will not be standing alongside Ilya Burov but his younger brother, Maxim. At the last World Championships, the younger Burov and Liubov Nikitina won gold medals in mixed aerials. The discipline will make its Olympic debut at Beijing 2022.

Franziska Preuss (Germany)

Franziska Preuss demonstrated her Olympic potential at the first Winter Youth Olympics back in 2012. In Innsbruck, the German biathlete won silver in the pursuit and gold medals in three other races: sprint, mixed relay and mixed relay among biathletes and skiers.

At the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, Preuss was one step away from the podium, after finishing fourth in the individual race. She will be hoping to go one better at Beijing 2022 after a four-year Olympiad where she has become the leader of the German team. Last season, she also came third in the overall World Cup standings. 

Totsuka Yuto (Japan)

Snowboarder Totsuka Yuto had been on course for a medal in PyeongChang, however those hopes were dashed in the finals. On his second attempt, the then 16-year-old fell onto his back and was taken to hospital on a stretcher.

Since that moment of misfortune, the young snowboarder has become mentally and technically stronger. He won halfpipe gold at the 2021 World Championships and is optimistic about his chances at Beijing 2022. “I have a lot of confidence in myself,” he said. “If I perform the way I’m capable of performing, I can win a gold medal”.

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