From Umhausen, AUT
There’s close, there’s extra close, and there’s “going to the final tiebreaker close”. The FIL natural track women’s luge title was just that close.
Greta Pinggera of Italy had been strong in the second half of the FIL season, and continued to show that strength when it counted most. Pinggera came into the final race 30 points behind teammate Evelin Lanthaler, needing a win and no better than third for Lanthaler to have a shot at an overall title.
In the first run, Lanthaler had the advantage, coming down last and in the lead, .33 ahead of Austria’s Tina Unterberger and .35 ahead of Pinggera.
In the second run, Pinggera charged back, setting the fast time of the heat and putting the pressure on both Unterberger and Lanthaler. While Unterberger kept it close (eventually finishing second), Lanthaler faltered, coming down almost a full second behind Pinggera, giving the win to Pinggera.
Greta Pinggera’s win, coupled with Evelin Lanthaler’s third place finish, led to a tie at the top of the World Cup standings, with both athletes sitting at 610 points. Per the FIL rulebook, the first tiebreaker is number of wins, but both Italians have three gold medals. All but the final tiebreaker then goes by number of finishes in second, third, fourth, etc, but both athletes had the same number of second and third place finishes.
The final tiebreaker in the FIL rulebook is the top finishing athlete at the last event of the year, and that’s where Greta Pinggera claimed the overall World Cup title, with Lanthaler finishing second overall and Unterberger third.
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