Ivanova wins World Cup luge race, Britcher medals again

Ivanova wins World Cup luge race, Britcher medals again
Tatyana Ivanova of Russia speeds down the track during a women's race at the Luge World Cup event in Sigulda, Latvia, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)

SIGULDA, Latvia (AP) — Russia’s Tatyana Ivanova had the fastest time in both heats Saturday to win a women’s World Cup luge race, upsetting German star and Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger.

Summer Britcher of the U.S. was third, her fifth medal of the season and marking the fifth consecutive racing weekend that USA Luge has left a World Cup with at least one medal.

Ivanova finished her two runs in 1 minute, 24.336 seconds. Geisenberger was clocked in 1:24.464 and Britcher finished in 1:24.686 — just four-thousandths ahead of Italy’s Andrea Voetter. Also for the U.S., Brittney Arndt was 16th. The U.S. was without Emily Sweeney, who skipped the week to train in Germany for the upcoming world championships.

Britcher became the third woman to medal in three singles events this season, joining only Geisenberger and Germany’s Julia Taubitz. Britcher has two silvers and a bronze in singles, along with another silver and a bronze from team relays.

In doubles earlier Saturday, the German duo of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken got their fifth win of the season, denying host Latvia what could have been the country’s first World Cup luge gold medal.

Eggert and Benecken finished their two runs in 1 minute, 24.119 seconds. Latvia took silver and bronze, with Oskars Gudramovics and Peteris Kalnins finishing second in 1:24.498 and Andris Sics and Juris Sics third in 1:24.588.

Those were the first two World Cup luge medals of the season for Latvia.

Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman were 11th for the U.S.