Geisenberger, Steu-Koller sweep weekend World Cup luge races

INNSBRUCK, Austria (AP) — The start of the World Cup season could not have gone better for Germany's Natalie Geisenberger and the Austrian doubles team of Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller.

Geisenberger won the women's sprint and the Steu-Koller team took the doubles sprint Saturday, giving both sleds their second win in as many days at the season-opening stop on the World Cup tour.

Johannes Ludwig of Germany won the men's singles event by one-tenth of a second over Italy's Dominik Fischnaller, and Austria's Wolfgang Kindl rallied from 18th place after the first run of the two-run event to finish third. Jonny Gustafson was the top American, grabbing 15th place.

Kindl then won the men's sprint race, holding off Russia's Aleksandr Gorbatcevich and Germany's Felix Loch. Gustafson was seventh in that race.

Germany swept the women's medals for the second straight day, this time going 1-2-3 in the sprint; Geisenberger won, Julia Taubitz picked up her second silver medal of the weekend and Dajana Eitberger was third for her first medal of the season. Summer Britcher of the U.S. was fourth, missing a medal by about one-sixth of a second.

Steu and Koller held off the Russian team of Vladislav Yuzhakov and Iurii Prokhorov for the doubles sprint win, with German veterans Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finishing third. The U.S. sled of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman was ninth.

The series shifts to North America next weekend, with racing on the 2010 Vancouver Olympics track in Whistler, British Columbia, on Friday and Saturday. U.S. Olympian Emily Sweeney, who did not accompany the Americans to Austria, is expected to make her season debut.


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