LUGE Preview: German sweep upcoming at World Championships in Winterberg?

The 48th edition of the FIL World Championships are this week in Winterberg (GER), with racing from Friday through Sunday:

25 January: Sprints
26 January: Men’s Doubles and Women’s Singles
27 January: Men’s Singles and Team Relay

Germany will be favored in every event, but that hardly means they will sweep the weekend. The men’s Singles and Doubles will be hotly contested and the Sprint events are anything but predictable. But the top sliders on the World Cup circuit in 2018-19 reflect Germany’s dominance:

Men’s Singles:
1. 473 Johannes Ludwig (GER) ~ 2018 Olympic bronze
2. 440 Wolfgang Kindl AUT) ~ 2017 World Champion; 2016 World bronze
3. 427 Felix Loch (GER) ~ 2008-09-12-13-16 World Champion; 2010-14 Olympic gold

Men’s Singles Sprint:
1. 1:05.293 Roman Repilov (RUS) ~ 2017 World silver medalist
2. 1:05.320 Semen Pavlichenko (RUS)
3. 1:05.342 Johannes Ludwig (GER)

Men’s Doubles:
1. 725 Toni Eggert/Sascha Benecken (GER) ~ 2018 Olympic bronze; 2017 World Champs
2. 576 Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt (GER) ~ 2018 Olympic gold; 2013-15-16 World Champions
3. 552 Thomas Steu/Lorenz Koller (AUT)

Men’s Doubles Sprint:
1. 1:07.509 Toni Eggert/Sascha Benecken (GER) ~ 2016 Worlds silver; 2017 Worlds bronze
2. 1:07.684 Thomas Steu/Lorenz Koller (AUT)
3. 1:07.713 Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt (GER) ~ 2016 World Champions

Women’s Singles:
1. 697 Natalie Geisenberger (GER) ~ 2014-18 Olympic Champ; 2013-15-16 World Champ
2. 634 Julia Taubitz (GER)
3. 485 Summer Britcher (USA)

Women’s Singles Sprint:
1. 1:07.554 Natalie Geisenberger (GER)
2. 1:07.662 Julia Taubitz (GER)
3. 1:07.728 Dajana Eitberger (GER)

Team Relay:
1. 355 Germany ~ 2018 Olympic Champions
2. 300 Russia
3. 270 Latvia

U.S. Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer will be in the field, as well as in the Doubles with Jayson Terdiman. That pair ranks sixth on the season in the World Cup standings.

Germany has World Championships winning streaks of six in a row in the women’s race (and 17 of the last 18), four in a row in Men’s Doubles and 14 in a row in the team event.

Germany’s domination of the sport has been so overwhelming that it has won the most medals in the World Championships 18 straight times, going back to 1995. It would appear that is not going to change in Winterberg, home to the event for the third time after hosting in 1989 and 1991.

NBC has coverage of the Luge Worlds on Saturday (delayed) at 8 a.m. Eastern time on NBCSN; and 7 p.m. (delayed) on the NBC Olympic Channel, and on Sunday at 5 p.m. (delayed) Eastern time, also on the NBC Olympic Channel. Look for results here.