Germany continued its dominance in luge at the 2014 Sochi Olympics as Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt took home gold in the men's doubles competition.
R.J. Rico of NBC Olympics provided the final time and a look at the celebrations for the German team:
The group finished 0.522 seconds ahead of Andreas and Wolfgang Linger of Austria, who ended with the silver medal. Latvian brothers Andris and Juris Sics took the bronze.
Here is a look at the top 10 through the two runs. Full results are available at Sochi2014.com.
|1||Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt||Germany||1:38.933|
|2||Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger||Austria||1:39.455|
|3||Andris Sics and Juris Sics||Latvia||1:39.790|
|4||Tristan Walker and Justin Snith||Canada||1:39.840|
|5||Alexander Denisyev and Vladislav Antonov||Russia||1:39.949|
|6||Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber||Italy||1:40.019|
|7||Ludwig Rieder and Patrick Rastner||Italy||1:40.039|
|8||Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken||Germany||1:40.218|
|9||Vladislav Yuzhakov and Vladimir Makhnutin||Russia||1:40.337|
|10||Oskars Gudramovics and Peteris Kalnins||Latvia||1:40.462|
This competition featured quite a field of experienced athletes. The Linger brothers won gold in both 2006 and 2010 while the Sics brothers earned a silver in Vancouver. Even the other German tandem of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken were supposed to be a top medal contender.
Additionally, Austrians Peter Penz and Georg Fischler had a chance to win until a disastrous second run:
Penz/Fischler (AUT) have a near-disaster; they manage not to crash but very slow time puts them last among finishers.— ByTheMin Sochi 2014 (@ByTheMinSochi) February 12, 2014
Still, the team of Wendl and Arlt has been dominant over the past few years, winning three of the last four World Cup titles in doubles luge.
They came through with yet another great performance to beat the defending Olympic champs and win their first gold medal.
This continues an impressive Winter Olympics for the Germans after Felix Loch won the men's event and Natalie Geisenberger secured gold in women's. With just the team relay competition remaining, there is little question which country should be favored.
While the United States was not all that competitive in this event, there were certainly some interesting personalities in the race. Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall are both Army sergeants, something that helped boost them in training.
Griffall revealed his emotions, via Beth Ford Roth of KPBS:
To compete not only as an athlete, but also as a Soldier, gives me a great sense of pride and responsibility – knowing that our brothers and sisters in arms are out there fighting for the very freedom that allows us to be able to live the lives that we do.
Unfortunately, Griffall and Mortensen could only manage 14th out of 19, three spots behind fellow Americans Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman.
Canada had a better showing as the country was looking for its first ever medal in doubles luge. Tristan Walker and Justin Snith finished in fourth, but CBC illustrates how close they were:
With both athletes just 22 years old, you can imagine they are just starting what could be a great career in the sport.
Of course, the story of the day was the Germans, who entered the day as favorites and lived up to expectations as the latest Olympic gold medalists.
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