Germany made a strong showing in World Cup luge Saturday, with victories in men’s doubles and women’s singles before a home crowd while Canadian Alex Gough claimed her second straight bronze medal.
Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt led the men with their second victory of the season and their 12th World Cup win overall. Among the women, Natalie Geisenberger edged defending and Olympic champion Tatjana Huefner by 0.031 seconds.
Gough, from Calgary, was 0.151 behind in third place.
“I have been sick all week and was just trying to get through that and then pull good starts and have two consistent runs today,” Gough said. “There is a dead flat start on this track which definitely plays to a German advantage, but I did my job of reaching my potential today.
“I’m happy to be on the podium again.”
Huefner, a four-time world champion, set a track record of 50.709 seconds in her second run but was unable to match Geisenberger’s time of one minute 41.450 seconds over two heats.
It was Geisenberger’s 11th individual career win.
“We had to face difficult conditions today,” Geisenberger said. “First, it was cold and very slippery and then in the second run we had snow. That’s why the sleds became sluggish. We changed the setup of my sled ahead of the first run and it really paid off.”
Calgary’s Arianne Jones was 13th and Jordan Smith, also of Calgary, was 16th.
Wendl and Arlt finished the two heats in 1:40.977. They beat Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken by 0.415 seconds, a repeat result from the opening doubles race of the season at Igls, Austria.
“To claim a victory in front of a home crowd is very nice indeed,” Arlt said. “We didn’t really have more practice runs than our opponents, but of course it’s always an advantage to compete back home.”
Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger, the defending World Cup and Olympic champions, were third — 0.949 behind the winners.
Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary’s Justin Snith were seventh.