Summer Britcher, U.S. take bronze at World Cup luge
January 6, 2019
KOENIGSSEE, Germany — Snow piled up in Germany this weekend, and so did Summer Britcher's medal collection.
Britcher and USA Luge got a bronze medal in a World Cup team relay Sunday, her second medal from a weekend when snow wreaked havoc on many sliders. Germany won the team relay gold, followed by Austria with the silver. Britcher won silver in the women's event on Saturday, and now has four medals this season. German stars Julia Taubitz (nine) and Natalie Geisenberger (seven) are the only women's sliders to have more medals this season than Britcher.
She teamed with Tucker West and the doubles team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman for bronze in the relay. It was the last event of a stormy weekend when even the host Germans lamented how conditions on one of their home tracks, at a place where they typically dominate, affected matters.
"The team relay is always my favorite race," Britcher said. "It's a lot of fun. It's great to have that feeling of being part of a team. I had a lot of fun racing yesterday and historically have done really well in the team relay race here. And it ended up OK."
Reinhard Egger of Austria, in his 11th season on the World Cup circuit, got his first career win earlier Sunday in the men's singles race, which was shortened to one run because of heavy snowfall. Dominik Fischnaller of Italy was second and Sebastian Bley of Germany was third for his first World Cup singles medal.
"It might have been better not to start the race," said Johannes Ludwig of Germany, who was slowed by the snow and finished 20th, his worst finish in nearly three years — yet still kept his World Cup lead.
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International Luge Federation officials canceled the second heat after several sliders already had made their runs, saying the snow was impeding visibility and creating a safety hazard. West was eighth and Mazdzer ninth for the Americans in the men's race. The World Cup luge season continues next weekend in Sigulda, Latvia.
Germany continues bobsled domination
ALTENBERG, Germany — Germany's unbeaten season in World Cup bobsled races continued Sunday with Francesco Friedrich driving to a four-man victory. It was Friedrich's fifth win in six races this season, and Germany has now won all nine World Cup bobsled events through the season's first three tour stops. Oskars Kibermanis was second for Latvia and Nico Walther took third for Germany.
For the United States, Justin Olsen drove his sled to 19th place and Codie Bascue — already dealing with a left leg injury that leaves him unable to push at the start of races — tipped his sled over late in the second heat and finished 20th. Bascue and the members of his team avoided injury in the crash. The World Cup bobsled season continues next weekend in Koenigssee, Germany.
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