From Winterberg, GER
Feb. 23, 2020 – Aleksandr Denisev and Vladislav Antonov cruised to victory in rainy Winterberg, winning by well over a half of a second.
After one run, the Russian duo carried a .072 lead into the second heat over the Latvian team of Oskars Gudramovics and Peteris Kalnins. Sitting third were Wojciech Chmielewski and Jakub Kowalewski, searching for their first career World Cup doubles medal.
On the second run, the Polish duo of Chmielewski and Kowalewski edged out Koreans Jinyong Park and Jung Cho to move into medal position. Gudramovics and Kalnins were next, coming down a fraction slower than the Polish team, but with enough in the bank to move into the lead with just the Russians to come.
Denisev and Antonov wouldn’t be denied a gold medal, though, as they put down the fast run of the heat on their way to a .608 victory over the Latvians. The Polish duo finished third.
The win was the second of the season and fourth in their career for the Russians, while the bronze medal for Chmielewski and Kowalewski was their first.
Park and Cho held on for fourth place, a career best, while Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov finished fifth. Emanuel Rieder and SImon Kainzwaldner rounded out the top six.
Latvian brothers Andris and Juris Sics finished ninth, up from 11th in the first heat after a mistake late in their first run set them back.
The race was marred by both rain and track issues prior to the race. After athletes complained about the track’s preparation and the International Luge Federation didn’t address their concerns, many teams decided to pull out of the race. Most notably, all three German teams pulled out due to safety concerns. Joining the Germans were the entire Austrian and American programs.
In response to the athletes’ concerns, the FIL eventually moved the doubles and women’s start down one level.
Despite pulling out of the race, the teams of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken lead Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt by 6 points. Andris and Juris Sics couldn’t capitalize on the Germans not racing, only gaining 39 points going into the season finale in Königssee.
|Pos||Names||Nation||Bib||Start 1||Start 2||Run 1||Run 2||Total|
|1||Denisev / Antonov||RUS||12||3.082||3.047||46.621||47.001||1:33.622|
|2||Gudramovics / Kalnins||LAT||13||3.075||3.162||46.693||47.537||1:34.230|
|3||Chmielewski / Kowalewski||POL||8||3.063||3.048||46.865||47.520||1:34.385|
|4||Park / Cho||KOR||5||3.160||3.093||46.920||47.522||1:34.442|
|5||Kashkin / Korshunov||RUS||6||3.135||3.081||47.207||47.319||1:34.521|
|6||Rieder / Kainzwaldner||ITA||10||3.060||3.042||47.062||47.468||1:34.530|
|7||Vavercak / Zij||SVK||4||3.103||3.141||46.885||47.682||1:34.567|
|8||Rieder / Rastner||ITA||11||3.041||2.991||46.938||47.708||1:34.646|
|9||Sics / Sics||LAT||14||3.061||3.030||47.494||47.318||1:34.812|
|10||Stakhiv / Lysetskyi||UKR||2||3.166||3.112||47.445||47.974||1:35.419|
|11||Nagler / Malleier||ITA||9||3.025||3.020||47.465||47.955||1:35.420|
|12||Hoi / Levkovych||UKR||3||3.169||3.128||47.528||48.160||1:35.688|
|13||Vejdelek / Pekny||CZE||1||3.024||3.185||48.058||48.269||1:36.327|