SIGULDA, Latvia (AP) — Jack Di Gregorio and Sean Hollander are headed to the Olympics for USA Luge. The doubles team is waiting to see if current silver medalist Chris Mazzer also travels to Beijing.
Di Gregorio and Hollander secured their first Olympic berths on Saturday, the day Germany won three of the six medals awarded in a pair of World Cup races.
For Germany Tony Eggert and Sasha Beneken won the doubles race, with Latvia’s Andreas Six and Juris Six second and Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt third.
And in the men’s race, Latvia’s Kristers Aprajods won on home ice, Germany’s Felix Loch second and Italy’s Dominic Fischler third.
They are all comfortably on the grounds of the Olympics.
Meanwhile, Di Gregorio and Hollander had to sweat until the very end. And Mazdzer is still waiting for official word.
Top American sledges in Saturday’s doubles race were Dana Kellogg and Duncan Seger, who finished 12th, four places ahead of Di Gregorio and Hollander. But this was not enough to overtake Kellogg and Segar in the Olympic rankings, and the US qualified only one sled for the Beijing Games, That is, Di Gregorio and Hollander got their place.
Mazzer was 25th in the men’s race. A top-16 finish would have guaranteed it made the Beijing Olympic ground. But for now, USA Luge knows it’s only sure to have two starting places—which will go to Tucker West and Johnny Gustafson—in the men’s race there.
The question is whether the Americans will qualify for three. The International Luge Federation’s system is complicated, and the sport’s governing body does not plan to announce how many venues each country will get for the Olympics until Monday.
If USA Luge qualified the three men’s sled — and there was some optimism Saturday that the Americans would get three places — Mazzer is in. If not, he’s out, which would be doubly disastrous for him, as he and Jason Terdeman didn’t qualify for the Olympics in doubles, either.
“It’s been a fun ride,” Mazzer said at the top of the track, looking at the camera and speaking literally two or three seconds before starting his second heat on Saturday. “If so, love you guys. Thanks for following.”
Gustafson was the top American in the men’s field on Saturday, finishing 21st. West crashed in his first run and did not finish.
There is a women’s race on Sunday, then a sprint race in men’s, women’s and doubles.
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