From Königssee, GER
Mar. 1, 2020 – It was a banner day for Russia in the men’s luge finale in Königssee, with one of their top athletes taking the final gold medal of the season, while the other won the overall title.
Semen Pavlichenko edged out Jonas Müller by just .003 to take his second gold medal of the season. In the first heat, the Russian came into the heat second, .005 behind Felix Loch and a tenth of a second ahead of Müller. Müller’s second run wsa the second quickest of the heat, and a time that Pavlichenko could not match, Pavlichenko’s second run, while not quicker than Müller, was enough to keep him just ahead of the Austrian with just Loch to go.
Felix Loch, on home ice, made one small mistake at the start of his second and final run, and it was enough to set him back with the fifth fastest run of the heat, enough to leave him out of the medals.
Pavlichenko’s gold was his second of the year and third medal in four races, while Müller’s silver was his fifth medal on the year but first since the Winterberg sprint competition seven events prior.
As if the race for gold wasn’t tight enough, the race for the Crystal Globe was even tighter. Roman Repilov and Dominik Fischnaller came into the day’s event separated by just one point, meaning whichever athlete had a higher finish would win the title.
Going into the second heat Repilov led Fischnaller by .07. Fischnaller’s second run was only tenth best. Repilov answered the bell and threw down the fastest run of the heat on his way to a bronze medal in the race and the season-long World Cup title.
In the race, Loch finished fourth, ahead of Fischnaller and Johannes Ludwig who tied for fifth. In the season-long points, Repilov edged out Fischnaller, while Pavlichenko finished third, only eight points behind the Italian.
Tucker West was the top-finishing American in Königssee with a 12th place finish. Chris Mazdzer moved up from 18th to 17th on his second run, three spots ahead of Jonny Gustafson in 20th. Sean Hollander, making his first ever World Cup start, moved from 27th to 23rd in the second heat to round out the American effort.
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