PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 16, 2018: Olympic Athlete from Russia Vladislav Marchenkov competes in the men’s skeleton event at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Olympic Sliding Centre. Sergei Bobylev/TASS Þæíàÿ Êîðåÿ. Ïõåí÷õàí. 16 ôåâðàëÿ 2018. Îëèìïèéñêèé ñïîðòñìåí èç Ðîññèè Âëàäèñëàâ Ìàð÷åíêîâ íà ñîðåâíîâàíèÿõ ïî ñêåëåòîíó íà XXIII çèìíèõ Îëèìïèéñêèõ èãðàõ. Ñåðãåé Áîáûëåâ/ÒÀÑÑ

MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. Germany’s expert Dirk Matschenz will join the coaching staff of the Russian national skeleton team, Denis Alimov, the head coach of the Russian team, told TASS on Wednesday.

Matschenz, 41, assumed the post of the German national skeleton team in March 2018 and led the national squad to winning gold medals of the 2020 IBSF (the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation) World Championship, held in Germany’s Altenberg, in all skeleton competitions. His contract with the national team of Germany expired on September 1, 2020.

“Dirk has been invited to work with our team during the upcoming season,” Alimov said in an interview with TASS. “We have hired him with the main aim of the 2022 [Winter] Olympics.”

“Dirk will have a lot of things to share with us as he joins the Russian team with his [skeleton] gear,” the Russian coach continued. “We should mention that the reigning world champion, Tina Hermann, have been recently competing using a skeleton bobsled produced personally by him [Matschenz].”

Skeleton is a winter sports event, in which athletes compete sliding down a frozen track. Athletes are using a small sled, which is called either a skeleton bobsled or a skeleton bobsleigh, riding the icy course face down and head first at an average speed of 150 kilometers per hour (about 93 mph).

“He [Matschenz] will be in charge of various spheres working as a coach with the Russian national team,” Alimov said.

“We will definitely benefit from this expert, who had been successfully leading the German team for a number of years,” he continued. “Unfortunately, we lack at the moment people specializing in the riding gear.”

“Willi Schneider is an outstanding manufacturer, but unfortunately he works with the Chinese national team at the moment and is limited in his opportunities,” Alimov stated.

German former skeleton racer Schneider, 57, currently serves as a coach of the Chinese national skeleton team, which he joined after working as a coach with the Russian national squad. Russian national skeleton racers are still using bobsleds invented by Schneider.

The Chinese capital of Beijing is scheduled to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games on February 4-20.

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