Eggert, Benecken Win 6th World Cup Luge Doubles Championship

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
January 25, 2022Updated: January 25, 2022

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland—Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken are World Cup overall champions for the sixth time, getting that title back just in time for the Olympics.

Eggert and Benecken won the season’s World Cup doubles finale Saturday, a win that was good enough to vault them into the top spot in the season-ending standings.

The Germans prevailed in 1 minute, 47.209 seconds, ahead of fellow Germans Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt (1:47.322) and Latvia’s Martins Bots and Roberts Plume (1:47.458).

Eggert and Benecken finished the season with 907 standings points, 24 more than the Latvian sled of Andris Sics and Juris Sics. The Sics brothers finished fifth in Saturday’s race; they needed a second-place finish hang on to the top spot and claim the overall title.

Germany Luge World Cup
(L–R) Toni Eggert, Sascha Benecken, Johannes Ludwig, and Julia Taubitz from Germany at the Luge World Cup in Oberhof, Germany, on Jan. 16, 2022. (Martin Schutt/dpa via AP)

It’s the sixth World Cup title in the last eight seasons for Eggert and Benecken.

The United States did not have a sled in Saturday’s doubles finale, with the Olympic-bound pairing of Zack DiGregorio and Sean Hollander skipping the last two races to concentrate on preparations for next month’s Beijing Games.

Men’s Race

Wolfgang Kindl of Austria rallied in the second heat to win the final race of the men’s World Cup season, finishing in 2:10.246.

Latvia’s Kristers Aparjods was second in 2:10.267 and Nico Gleirscher of Austria was third in 2:10.546. Kindl was third after the first run behind Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller and Germany’s Johannes Ludwig, both of whom found trouble late in their second runs and wound up finishing eighth and 11th, respectively.

For the United States, Jonny Gustafson tied a season-best by finishing 14th and Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer finished 18th. Gustafson, Mazdzer, and Tucker West will be racing for the United States at the Beijing Games.

Ludwig had already clinched the seasonlong World Cup title entering the finale and finished with 871 points after an 11th-place finish Saturday. Kindl was second in the final standings with 791, while Aparjods and Germany’s Felix Loch tied for third with 691.

Women’s Race

Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger got her first win of the season and 52nd singles victory of her career on Sunday, holding off Madeleine Egle of Austria and Elina Vitola of Latvia in the final women’s race on the World Cup schedule.

Germany’s Julia Taubitz was fourth, good enough to hold off Egle for the season points title. Taubitz finished the year with 979 standings points, 32 more than Egle—who finished the season on a run of eight consecutive top-three finishes in World Cup races—and 207 more than Geisenberger, who was third in the overall standings.

Geisenberger, the two-time defending Olympic champion, finished her two runs in 1 minute, 48.190 seconds. Egle finished in 1:48.345 and Vitola in 1:48.456.

Geisenberger has now won a race in 13 consecutive seasons, excluding 2019–20 when she sat out the year for the birth of her first child. And St. Moritz became the 15th different track on which she’s won a World Cup, world championships, or Olympic race.

Emily Sweeney was the top American, finishing 17th. Ashley Farquharson was 23rd and Summer Britcher, who was racing with a broken finger, was 24th.

Team Relay

Latvia won the season-ending team relay, holding off Germany.

Latvia prevailed in 2:47.101, while Germany finished in 2:47.228, and Russia got third in 2:47.776. Austria—a major medal contender all season—was disqualified after Egle failed to hit the timing pad at the end of her run.

Germany won the team relay seasonlong points standings. The United States did not have a team in the relay.