Geisenberger Leads at Women’s Luge Halfway Point

From Pyeongchang, KOR

Feb. 12, 2018 – Natalie Geisenberger came into the Women’s Luge event in the 2018 Olympics as the World Cup champion and runaway favorite in a very stacked field. At the halfway point she’s shown some strength, but also has shown she’s not invincible.

Geisenberger set a track record in her first heat to take a .072 second advantage over Canadian Alex Gough. On her second run she was quick, but only third quickest.

That said, she’s the defending gold medalist and your leader at halfway, and according to her the pressure’s off.

“I feel less pressure than in Sochi, said the World Cup champion. “My dream was to win an Olympic gold medal, and now I have two gold medals. If there’s another medal tomorrow it’s good, but if not it’s not the worst case.”

Geisenberger’s German teammate Dajana Eitberger made some small mistakes on her first run, leaving her in seventh place. She fixed those issues and on her second run leapfrogged everyone but Geisenberger, moving into second.

While she was disappointed with her first run, Eitberger was thrilled with her second.

“I had some mistakes out of Curve 9, in 13 to 14, and even in 15, but had a good time still. After that, I thought the time was still close and if I want to have a good result I need to do my best on this second run. I tried to make it better, and what I did worked!”

Gough fell back to third after the second run, but sits only .071 out of silver and .191 out of gold. She was has happy with her runs, but felt like there was time she left out on the track.

“There were a few little mistakes out there, and hopefully I can clean that up and see where I am in the end,” Gough said. “I’m going to come out here and do what I do and look at the results at the end of the day.”

The field is packed most of the way through the top six. Tatjana Hüfner sits third, but has Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin right in her mirror.

Both of Hamlin’s runs were in the top six, and good enough to move her into fifth place, just .040 out of another bronze medal and .236 away from gold.

Rounding out the top six was Kimberley McRae, who fell from fourth to sixth.

“After training I was consistent, but I was slow. I was slow off the start and today I was able to put two starts together. I’m in the mix and I’ll see what happens tomorrow, you just have to treat it like it’s another race.

It was a very mixed day for the Americans, though all three are in the top fifteen. Summer Britcher made a big mistake out of Curve 9 in the first heat, but rallied back to set a track record in the second heat. Though that may be good enough already to qualify her for the Team Relay in a few days, she’s not through with her women’s luge race just yet.

“I really wanted a track record on the first run. To come back from a bad run and to know it didn’t get in my head, it makes it even more special,” Britcher said of her race thus far. “I haven’t given up on this race yet, my plan of attack is to take it one run at a time and let things fall as they may.”

Emily Sweeney sits 15th after a tough second run that dropped her from 11th to 23rd. Canadian Brooke Apshkrum finished her first day of racing in 16th.


Pos Name Nation Bib Run 1 Run 2 Total
1 Natalie Geisenberger GER 6 46.245 46.209 1:32.454
2 Dajana Eitberger GER 5 46.381 46.193 1:32.574
3 Alex Gough CAN 11 46.317 46.328 1:32.645
4 Tatjana Hüfner GER 2 46.322 46.339 1:32.661
5 Erin Hamlin USA 1 46.357 46.333 1:32.690
6 Kimberley McRae CAN 7 46.339 46.449 1:32.788
7 Aileen Frisch KOR 20 46.350 46.456 1:32.806
8 Ulla Zirne LAT 16 46.471 46.409 1:32.880
9 Summer Britcher USA 4 46.829 46.132 1:32.961
10 Raluca Stramaturaru ROU 22 46.469 46.532 1:33.001
11 Andrea Vötter ITA 8 46.577 46.483 1:33.060
12 Hannah Prock AUT 17 46.622 46.585 1:33.207
13 Madeleine Egle AUT 15 46.726 46.464 1:33.372
14 Martina Kocher SUI 10 46.837 46.657 1:33.494
15 Emily Sweeney USA 23 46.595 46.960 1:33.555
16 Brooke Apshkrum CAN 21 46.834 46.839 1:33.673
17 Sandra Robatscher ITA 3 46.620 47.116 1:33.736
18 Eunryung Sung KOR 24 46.918 46.851 1:33.769
19 Olena Shkhumova UKR 30 46.950 46.844 1:33.794
20 Ekaterina Baturina OAR 13 47.122 46.700 1:33.822
21 Eliza Cauce LAT 12 47.458 46.477 1:33.935
22 Ewa Kuls-Kusyk POL 14 47.037 46.933 1:33.970
23 Veronica Ravenna ARG 25 47.175 47.788 1:34.963
24 Kendija Aparjode LAT 9 48.103 46.927 1:35.030
25 Katarina Simonakova SVK 27 47.428 47.606 1:35.034
26 Natalia Wojtusciszyn POL 19 49.133 46.736 1:35.869
27 Tereza Noskova CZE 29 47.813 48.132 1:35.945
28 Daria Obratov CRO 26 48.615 48.252 1:36.867
29 Olena Stetskiv UKR 28 50.599 48.303 1:38.902
DNF Birgit Platzer AUT 18 47.318 DNF