LUGE: Geisenberger and Eggert/Benecken clinch seasonal World Cup titles in Oberhof

Olympic and World Luge Champion Natalie Geisenberger of Germany (Photo: Sandro Halank via Wikimedia Commons)

The penultimate FIL World Cup in the 2018-19 season decided the women’s and men’s Doubles champions, while the men’s Singles title will go right to the final races.

In the World Cup at Oberhof (GER), two familiar champions were confirmed: Germans Natalie Geisenberger for the women and Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken in the Doubles. Geisenberger won her fifth race of the season and now has 882 points to clinch her sixth seasonal title in a row. Second is teammate Julia Taubitz (706) and Summer Britcher of the U.S. is still third – despite a sixth-place finish – with 556 points.

Eggert and Benecken finished second in Oberhof to teammates Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, but now have 895 points to 712 for Austrians Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller. Wendl and Arlt have 698 points and could move up in the final World Cup in Sochi (RUS) in two weeks. For Eggert and Benecken, it’s their third straight World Cup title.

The men’s title is totally up for grabs. Where Germany’s Felix Loch has won six of the last seven years, the 1-2 for Russians Semen Pavlichenko and Roman Repilov have thrown the seasonal race wide open. Going into Sochi:

● 1. 598 Johannes Ludwig (GER)
● 2. 588 Semen Pavlichenko (RUS)
● 3. 583 Felix Loch (GER)
● 4. 580 Reinhard Egger (AUT)
● 5. 548 Roman Repilov (RUS)

Any of them could win it, and Repilov was the 2016-17 champion, breaking a five-year hold that Loch had on the event. Summaries from Oberhof:

FIL Luge World Cup
Oberhof (GER) ~ 9-10 February 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s Singles: 1. Semen Pavlichenko (RUS), 1:26.203; 2. Roman Repilov (RUS), 1:26.247; 3. Kristers Aparjods (LAT), 1:26.384; 4. Reinhard Egger (AUT), 1:26.399; 5. Johannes Ludwig (GER), 1:26.445. Also: 14. Tucker West (USA), 1:26.872; … 27. Jonathan Gustafson (USA), 1:28.832.

Men’s Doubles: 1. Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt (GER), 1:21.951; 2. Toni Eggert/Sascha Benecken (GER), 1:22.151; 3. Andris Sics/Juris Sics (LAT), 1:22.274; 4. Thomas Steu/Lorenz Koller (AUT), 1:22.501; 5. Tristan Walker/Justin Snith (CAN), 1:22.673. Also: 10. Chris Mazdzer/Jayson Terdiman (USA), 1:22.874.

Women’s Singles: 1. Natalie Geisenberger (GER), 1:22.810; 2. Tajana Huefner (GER), 1:23.033; 3. Dajana Eitberger (GER), 1:23.127; 4. Andrea Voetter (ITA), 1:23.170; 5. Julia Taubitz (GER), 1:23.186. Also: 6. Summer Britcher (USA), 1:23.272.

Team Relay: 1. Italy (Voetter, D. Fischnaller, Nagler/Malleier), 2:22.827; 2. Germany, 2:22.943; 3. Latvia, 2:23.256; 4. Austria, 2:23.628; 5. Russia, 2:23.664. Also: 6. United States (Summer Britcher, Tucker West, Chris Mazdzer/Jayson Terdiman), 2:23.666.