Kim Meylemans was crowned European skeleton champion for the first time in her career on Friday in Sigulda, Latvia. For the 27-year-old from Limburg, this is the best performance of her career. She is the first Belgian to win a European title in a sledding sport.
The sixth Skeleton World Cup of the season in Sigulda, Latvia, also served as a European championship. The stars were more favorable than ever for the Belgian Kim Meylemans to win her very first European Championship medal. The Little Belgian, as the blonde from Limburg is affectionately known in the circuit, was having an excellent season. After five of the eight matches, she was in an excellent second place in the overall World Cup rankings. Moreover, Sigulda’s wild and challenging course was a lot better than its competitors.
Meylemans immediately proved this in the first of two heats, in which she set the fastest time of all participants. She went 0.09 seconds faster than the Austrian favorite Janine Flock and 0.11 seconds faster than the Canadian Mirela Rahneva. This meant that our compatriot had anything but won the game. A week earlier, Meylemans had also finished first in the first run in Lillehammer, but she dropped to fifth place after a poorer second descent.
But on Friday in her beloved Sigulda, where she has never achieved a bad result, Meylemans would not let the title she has been chasing for her entire career escape. Her second run was slightly slower, but was just enough to hold off the German Olympic champion Hanna Neise for the European title by three hundredths of a second. The World Cup victory in Sigulda went to the Canadian Mirela Rahneva, but he obviously did not participate in the European Championship.