Germans sweep women's World Cup luge in Utah
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- Silke Kraushaar led a German sweep of the women's World Cup luge race Sunday, extending Germany's dominance of the event to 25 consecutive World Cup races dating to 1997.
Kraushaar had a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 26.800 seconds. She also set track records with a 3.103-second push-start and a single-run time of 43.291 seconds.
Teammates Sonja Wiedemann, at 1:27.067, and Sylke Otto, at 1:27.138, were second and third. Becky Wilczak of River Forest, Ill., was fourth, almost four-tenths of a second behind Kraushaar.
In doubles, the German team of Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch won during intermittent snowfall at the Utah Olympic Park, where bobsled, luge and skeleton will be staged during the 2002 Winter Games.
Leitner and Resch set a track record of 43.138 seconds on their first run Saturday and followed with Sunday's fastest time, 43.426 seconds, to win their third World Cup race this season.
Germans Steffan Skel and Steffen Woller were second, at 1:26.702, while Austrian cousins Markus Schiegl and Tobias Schiegl took third at 1:26.861.
Brian Martin of Palo Alto, Calif., and Mark Grimmette of Muskegon, Mich., placed fourth after winning last week's stop at Nagano, Japan. They were the bronze medalists at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Chris Thorpe of Marquette, Mich., and Clay Ives of Lake Placid, N.Y., finished fifth.
With Kraushaar's victory, the German women have 25 straight events on the World Cup tour, at the World Championships, European championships and Challenge Cup tournaments.
Kraushaar said there's a lot of competition within the German team.
"The pressure from the outside is not as big as from inside because all four [women] on the team are good," Kraushaar said. "That's probably why we're so good. We push each other."
The women's and doubles runs were split, with the first runs on Saturday night and the second Sunday morning. Not even that format, driven by television and travel schedules, slowed the Germans.
Courtney Zablocki of Highlands Ranch, Colo., finished seventh in the women's event while Ashley Hayden of Westborough, Mass., was eighth.