WINTERBERG, Germany (AP) – Latvia won gold in a World Cup luge team relay on Sunday, Austria second and the United States third.
The Latvian team of Eliza Tiruma, Kristers Aparjods and the double sled of Marlins Bots and Roberts Plume finished in 2 minutes, 24.294 seconds. The Austrian team of Madeleine Egle, Nico Gleirscher and the double sled of Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller finished second in 2: 24.652.
The Americans – Summer Britcher, Tucker West and the doubles team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman – took bronze in 2: 24.802. Germany at home only managed a fourth place clocking 2: 24.955.
It was the second team relay medal of the season for USA Luge, who clinched silver in the season opener at the new track in Yanqing, China, which will be used for the Olympics. from Beijing next month.
Germany reached the top of the women’s podium earlier on Sunday, with Julia Taubitz (1: 53.167) rallying German slide Natalie Geisenberger (1: 53.408) in the second heat to claim the gold medal.
Egle finished third for Austria. Taubitz is 102 points ahead of Egle in the overall Women’s World Cup standings with five races to go; the gap between the two had been 72 entrants on Sunday.
Britcher was fifth in the women’s competition, good enough to officially clinch a spot on the US Olympic team. Britcher also competed in the Sochi 2014 Games and the Pyeongchang 2018 Games. The full US team will be officially named later this month.
“This race was one of the races where I was showing more average potential for speed, but I was able to have some consistency with the changing weather conditions here and a bit of luck on my side I was able to have my best result of the season in the World Cup in regular format, ”said Britcher.
Brittney Arndt finished 12th and Ashley Farquharson 16th for the American women. Emily Sweeney did not finish for the Americans, collapsing in her second run after registering some of the fastest split times of the entire race.
The Luge World Cup series travels to Sigulda, Latvia next weekend.
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