Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Bereiter wins Women’s World Cup luge race in Russia

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Germany’s Anna Bereiter won the Women’s World Cup luge race on Saturday, bringing the circuit to six different women who have won six medals in the first two races of the season.

Bereiter completed two runs in 1 minute, 40.649 seconds for the third World Cup win of his career. Latvia’s Kendija Aprajod finished second with 1:40.756 and Russia’s Viktoria Demchenko was third with 1:40.917.

It is the first time since the 2015–16 season that the first six medals of the World Cup Women’s Luge season have gone to six different sliders.

Last week’s women’s winner Madeleine Eagle of Austria finished seventh. Defending Olympic champion Natalie Giesenberger of Germany was in eighth place. For America, Summer Bricher was 10th and Ashley Farquharson was 12th.

In the doubles race, Latvian brothers Andris ics and Juris ics scored two runs in 1:39.783 for their first win and second medal in as many World Cups this season. Russia got an astonishing silver in 1:39.903 from the team of Andrei Bogdanov and Yuri Prokhorov, while the German team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished third with 1:40.012.

In the doubles race, USA Luge was led by the team of Chris Mazzer and Jason Terdiman, who finished 11th, five places ahead of fellow Americans Zach Di Gregorio and Sean Hollander.

“We still have a lot of work to do with the new sled so that we are confident and comfortable with how it is tracking and steering, but things are definitely going in the right direction,” Terdiman said.

It has been an eventful week in the world of luge, with everything from injuries to lost sleds to government interference.

Sliders and coaches departed China on a charter flight to Russia after last weekend’s season-opening World Cup, but more than 30 crate equipment – including some sledges – were put back by security officials in Beijing. This left teams to get through the week, borrowing everything from equipment to tape to even helmets from other national teams.

The International Luge Federation is trying to bring the missing crate to Russia this week.

Current World Cup overall doubles champion Thomas Stu and Austria’s Lorenz Koller are out of the tour for at least three weeks. Stu broke a leg in a training accident in Sochi this week – the second time a top luge athlete has fallen from a broken leg on a Russian track this season. Mazzer, the current Olympic men’s singles silver medalist, broke his leg in a training race there earlier this fall and is still dealing with the impacts.

“Injuries 10 weeks before the start of winter games are absolutely not beneficial, but grumbling won’t help,” Steve said.

The US doubles team of Dana Kellogg and Duncan Segar started the week in Paris as they felt they were not eligible to slide, then finished in Sochi, still could not slide.

Kellogg, a member of the National Guard, was allowed out of the US military’s World Class Athlete program earlier this week. Active US military members, such as top women’s luge hopeful Emily Sweeney, were not allowed to travel to Russia for the World Cup weekend due to current State Department policies and recommendations.

That meant Kellogg and Segar could not travel to Russia at first, then were approved mid-week to rejoin the tour with Senna’s blessing as they and Segar need points to boost their Olympic hopes and two. Missing World Cup week could ruin his chances.

But Kellogg suffered a hand injury – and Sledge was not eligible to be part of Saturday’s race.

The men’s singles and team relay will be held on Sunday before the teams race at the 2014 Olympic Track next weekend.

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