Austria Upsets Germany in Relay Championships

From Königssee, GER

Jan. 31, 2021 – Coming into the Team Relay event at the FIL World Championships, Germany had won four of the six gold medals, and 11 of the 18 total available medals on the weekend. They’d also won all but all but one gold medal in the Team Relay between World Championships and the Olympics.

L-R: Germany, Austria, Latvia (Courtesy FIL TV)

So to say that Germany was a favorite on their home ice in Königssee would be an understatement. But that’s why they run the races.

Austria had also been strong during the World Championships, and they took the lead handily with just the Russian Luge Federation and Germany to go. Of the two teams to go, the RLF went first. Tatyana Ivanova put the RLF back early, but Roman Repilov brought them back to the lead. That left it to the team of Denisev & Antonov, and they struggled to find speed. At the end of their run, RLF found themselves well back and out of the medals.

That left Germany for what felt like it would be a victory lap. Eearly on, Julia Taubitz opened up a .4 advantage for Germany, and that was stretched out to .6 after Felix Loch took his run. It seemed as though Eggert & Benecken just needed a clean run to take gold, and they had just that. However, that run was brutally slow by their standards, and as they hit the paddle to finish their run, they found themselves .038 behind the Austrians in the silver medal position.

Austria’s gold is their first ever in the Team Relay in the FIL World Championships. The silver for Germany is also their first, they have one bronze medal on top of their pile of gold medals.

Latvia, led by a strong come from behind slide by Andris & Juris Sics, finished with a bronze medal.

The United States put down three strong slides by Summer Britcher, Tucker West, and Chris Mazdzer & Jayson Terdiman to finish in fourth place, well ahead of the Italians in fifth.


Pos Names Nation Bib Women Men Total
1 Egle / D. Glerischer / Steu & Koller AUT 9 53.300 1:48.024 2:43.139
2 Taubitz / Loch / Eggert & Benecken GER 11 52.882 1:47.512 2:43.157
3 Aparjode / Darznieks / Sics & Sics LAT 8 53.471 1:48.377 2:43.571
4 Britcher / West / Mazdzer & Terdiman USA 6 53.304 1:48.179 2:43.764
5 Vötter / D. Fischnaller / Rieder & Rastner ITA 7 53.645 1:48.558 2:43.829
6 Ivanova / R. Repilov / Denisev & Antonov RLF 10 53.455 1:47.925 2:43.878
7 Stetskiv / Dukach / Stakhiv & Lysetskyi UKR 3 54.232 1:49.692 2:46.152
8 Simonakova / Ninis / Vavercak & Zmij SVK 4 54.734 1:50.520 2:46.525
9 Stramaturaru / Cretu / Gitlan & Serban ROU 1 54.638 1:50.151 2:47.576
DNF Domaradzka / Sochowicz / Chmielewski & Kowalewski POL 5 DNF DNF
DSQ Frisch / Lim / Park & Cho KOR 2 53.966 DSQ DSQ