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Olympic skeleton champion finds Beijing track relatively easy

All News 14:43 October 19, 2021

SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- With a few training sessions at the sliding track for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics under his belt, the reigning skeleton gold medalist Yun Sung-bin said Tuesday he found the course relatively easy, with a few tricky spots.

Yun has been taking part in the International Training Period at Yanqing National Sliding Center in the Beijing suburbs, organized by the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF), since Oct. 7. The event is designed to give sliders from outside the host country their first look at the Olympic track.

In an interview released by the Korea Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (KBSF) on Tuesday, Yun said few things about the Yanqing track have taken him by surprise.

This photo provided by the Korea Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation on Oct. 19, 2021, shows South Korean skeleton slider Yun Sung-bin, currently training in China ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"When I first saw photos of this track, it looked huge and long, and it's exactly like that in person," Yun said. "It's not such a difficult course. I've been adjusting really well. Overall, I think this is the best sliding track I've seen."

The Yanqing track features a full 360-degree turn in the middle, a feature called "kreisel." Yun said the particular section wasn't nearly as difficult as he'd anticipated.

"I can't say I've completely figured out this track, but I did find the straightaway section after the 13th curve quite challenging," Yun added.

At the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Yun became the first South Korean to win gold in a sliding event. Next February, he will face a whole different type of challenge -- Chinese sliders who are said to have had hundreds of training runs at Yanqing already.

"I haven't seen any Chinese athlete train, and I haven't heard anything about them," Yun said. "But when we were getting ready for PyeongChang, we didn't train with athletes from other countries, either."

South Korean skeleton slider Yun Sung-bin trains at the Yanqing National Sliding Center in Yanqing, near Beijing, to prepare for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in this photo provided by the Korea Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation on Oct. 19, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The countdown to the Beijing Winter Games will reach 100 days on Oct. 27. Yun said it hasn't quite hit him yet that the competition is around the corner and added, "Our time (to train at Yanqing) is running out, and I'll try to be as efficient as possible."

The International Training Period will run through Sunday and will be followed by two days of mock races.

Yun and the rest of the national sliding team will head over to Europe to compete at IBSF World Cups.


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