Germany continues gold medal dominance
WINTERBERG, Germany –In the midst of a string of races held in Germany, the home team once again remained at the top of the podium across all disciplines in Winterberg after the first day of competitions.
Top U.S. finishers were Chevonne Forgan and Sophie Kirkby placing sixth in women’s doubles. Zack DiGregorio and Sean Hollander were ninth in men’s doubles, while Jonny Gustafson was tenthin men’s singles.
World Champions Jessica Degenhardt and Cheyenne Rosenthal of Germany won the gold medal with a time of one minute 28.28 seconds. Austria’s Selina Egle and Lara Kipp took silver in 1:28.508, and Italy’s Andrea Vötter and Marion Oberhofer took third in 1:28.534.
The American team of Forgan (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Kirkby (Ray Brook, N.Y.) were sixth in 1:29.095 after setting the fastest start of the day in the second heat. Maya Chan (Chicago, Illinois) and Reannyn Weiler (Whitesboro, N.Y.) placed seventh with a time of 1:29.692. Summer Britcher (Glen Rock, Pa.) and Emily Sweeney (Lake Placid, N.Y) did not enter. Britcher is not competing this week due to a recurring shoulder injury.
Chevonne Forgan and Sophie Kirby in Winterberg, Germany on Feb. 11, 2023.
Vötter/Oberhofer are the overall World Cup leaders with 770 points. Egle/Kipp are in second with 700, and Degenhardt/Rosenthal are in third with 671. Forgan/Kirkby are fourth with 475 points, Chan/Weiler move up to sixth with 382, and Sweeney/Britcher are eighth with 295.
Germany’s Max Langenhan remained at the top of the podium, winning his third consecutive World Cup gold medal of the season with a time of 1:45.687. Langenhan missed the first three races of the tour due to a hand injury. 2023 World Champion Jonas Muller of Austria took silver in 1:45.987, and Felix Loch of Germany placed third in 1:46.009.
Following a bronze medal finish in yesterday’s Nation’s Cup qualifying race, Gustafson had two strong runs and placed tenth with a time of 1:46.538. While teammate Tucker West (Ridgefield, Conn.) had the strongest start of the second heat with four-hundreds of a second off the start record, he finished just behind Gustafson in 1:46.358 in 11th.
Jonny Gustafson in the Winterberg outrun on Feb. 11, 2023
“I didn't put any pressure on myself or have any expectations and just wanted to enjoy competing this weekend,” said Gustafson, a 2022 Olympian. “I can happily say that has been successful so far and I'm looking forward to one more fun run in the sprint tomorrow.”
Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller is in first place in the World Cup overall standings with 665 points. Loch is in second with 566, and Kindl in third with 508. U.S. athletes are led by West in eighth with 376 points and Gustafson in 12th with 293. 2018 Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer only competed in North America and finished his season with 114 points.
Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won gold with at time of 1:27.141. Teammates Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken secured silver in 1:27.571, bouncing back after sitting in sixth place following the firstheat. Latvia’s Martins Bots and Roberts Plume placed third with a time of 1:27.641.
2022 Olympians DiGregorio (Medway, Mass.) and Hollander (Lake Placid, N.Y.) placed ninth with a time of 1:27.965. Spectators serenaded Hollander with a German-accented version of “Happy Birthday” as he turns 23 today. Dana Kellogg (Chesterfield, Mass.) and Duncan Segger (Lake Placid, N.Y.) landed in 13th with a time of 1:28.534.
Zack DiGregorio and Sean Hollander in action in Winterberg on Feb. 11, 2023
Wendl/Arlt bumped Eggert/Benecken out of the top spot of the World Cup overall standings, with 714 points. Eggert/Benecken are in second with 700 points, while Bots/Plume are in third with 595. DiGregorio/Hollander hold eighth with 391 points, and Kellogg/Segger are 14th with 224.
World Cup action continues in Winterberg tomorrow with the women’s singles and sprint races. To watch all races live and view archived competitions, please visit the FIL’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@FILLuge_Channel. The entire World Cup and World Championship season can be accessed from this portal.