Summer Britcher’s fabulous winter just keeps getting better. With a bronze-medal finish in women’s luge and a silver with Olympic teammate Tucker West, Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman in the team relay at Sunday’s world cup in Oberhof, Germany, Britcher secured her fourth and fifth medals of the world cup season.
The two-time Olympian’s first run down the Oberhof course in the women’s event resulted in a time of 41.546 seconds and fifth place, not quite what the 25-year-old had in mind. Needing a big second run to put herself in podium contention, Britcher’s second run clocked in at 41.394 seconds, the second-best second run of the day on the Oberhof track.
Germany’s Anna Berreiter, just 20 years old, proved uncatchable in her home country, cruising to her first world cup win in an overall time of 1 minute, 22.836 seconds. Despite professing that Oberhof is “not her favorite track,” the young German came up with the fastest first and second runs of the competition. Russian Olympian Tatyana Ivanova, a seven time world medalist, was just 0.040 behind.
Britcher’s combined time of 1 minute, 22.940 seconds ultimately boosted the 2012 Youth Olympic gold medalist to bronze position in the face of small mistakes from Germany’s normally reliable Julia Taubitz and Latvian challenger Kendija Aparjode.
In the team event, Britcher, West, 2018 Olympic silver medalist Mazdzer and Terdiman combined for a total time of 2:22.748. The performance from Mazdzer was especially impressive, given that the three-time Olympian has been battling neck problems that have kept him out of competition during the past few weeks. Luge powerhouse Germany edged the U.S. by a mere 0.07 seconds to win gold, with Latvia third.
Her 70 points from Sunday’s finish give Britcher a total of 463 points in the women’s world cup standings, currently ranking her sixth as the Oberhof results triggered a reshuffling of the standings. Ivanova, whose four victories on the circuit have helped her accumulate 822 points, moved into the lead ahead of Taubitz, currently second, followed by Russia’s Viiktoriia Demchenko, Berreiter and Russia’s Ekaterina Katnikova. Emily Sweeney is ranked No. 9.