Tina Hermann sets record with fourth skeleton world title as German teammate Grotheer wins men's race

Germany's Hermann is the first female to notch up three consecutive titles as she slides to victory in Altenberg.

By Sanjeev Palar

Tina Hermann has become the most successful female skeleton athlete after clinching her fourth world title at the 2021 World Championships on Friday (12th February)

It's the German's third title in-a-row, following victories in 2019 and 2020, adding to her maiden win in 2016.

The 28-year-old's win in Altenberg, Germany was particularly impressive given that she was placed 11th after her first of four runs.

However, a determined Hermann did not give up and went on to set the fastest times in the second, third and fourth runs, which saw her clinch the title with a combined time of 3 minutes 52.97 seconds.

Women's skeleton podium: Tina Hermann (GER) first, Jacqueline Lolling (GER) second and Elena Nikitina (BFR) third
Picture by Viesturs Lacis

Hermann's team mate Jacqueline Loelling led going into the final run, but the PyeongChang 2018 silver medallist could not find the same pace as her compatriot and ended up second.

The 26-year-old set an accumulated time of 3 minutes 53.08 seconds, just 0.11 seconds short. Loelling, who won the title in 2017, adds a third silver medal to her tally after also finishing runners-up at the 2015 and 2019 world championships.

Third place in the women's race went to reigning European Champion Elena Nikitina, racing under the Bobsleigh Federation of Russia flag, who was 1.68 seconds adrift.

More German success in men's event

Christopher Grotheer of Germany won the men's skeleton race, his third title at the worlds having won the same event in 2020 and the mixed team gold in 2019.

The German set the fastest time in the second, third, and fourth runs for an accumulated winning time of 3 minutes 46.31 seconds.

European Champion Alexander Tretiakov, racing for the Bobsleigh Federation of Russia, entered the second and final day of competition with a 0.04 second lead. However, he could not match the pace of Grotheer and finished second with a combined time of 3 minutes 46.59 seconds, 0.28 seconds adrift.

Overall World Cup runner-up Alexander Gassner claimed the final spot on the podium for Germany, with a time of 3 minutes 47.51 seconds after his four runs.

The world championships are taking place exactly a year ahead of Beijing 2022 and seen as a good indicator of who is likely to contend for medals at the next Winter Olympics.

You can go behind the scenes with some of the best young skeleton sliders from the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympics, in our Olympic Channel original series Sliding Madness, available now for free and without a subscription, below.