Germans win over Austrian and Latvian brothers
The doubles team of Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman of the United States smile in the finish area after their final run during the men's doubles luge at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – In what was probably his last race, three-time Olympian Christian Niccum and teammate Jayson Terdiman placed 11th in the two heat Olympic doubles competition. Fellow Americans Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall were 14th.
Both team experienced problems down the 16 curve Sanki Sliding Center in the mountains north of Sochi. Niccum and Terdiman finished in 1 minute, 40.945 seconds, while Mortensen and Griffall clocked in at 1:41.703.
The doubles team of Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall of the United States speed down the track in their first run during the men's doubles luge at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
“It was pretty disappointing”, said Mortensen of Huntington Station, N.Y when asked about his Olympic competition runs. “I wish that we could have had two better runs for the race.”
Tomorrow marks the final day of competition for luge with the team relay, which makes its Olympic debut. Niccum and Terdiman will represent the United States, along with 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin of Remsen, N.Y., and Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake, N.Y., who finished 13th in the men’s competition.
Niccum was optimistic that he and Terdiman, of Berwick, Pa., will learn from their errors during the doubles event.
“We made mistakes on our first run, and then made a different mistake on the second run, “ said Niccum, of Woodinville, Wash. “We learned a lot about what we need to do going into the team relay and hopefully we can put it all together and help out the team.”
The podium was a cluster of matching first and last names. The German duo of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, who failed to qualify for the 2010 team, took the gold with the largest margin of victory in Olympic doubles history with 1:38.933. The Austrian brother Andreas and Wolfgang Linger, gold medalists at the last two Olympics, took silver in 1:39.455. Another pair of brothers, Andris and Juris Sics of Latvia, took bronze in 1:39.790. The Sics brothers won silver at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
Tomorrow’s team relay competition can be seen live at 11:15 ET live at http://stream.nbcolympics.com/luge/winter/14001/