FIL World Championships in Vatra Dornei (ROU): gold for Austria in team competition

VATRA DORNEI. Just one day after the official opening ceremony of the 21st FIL World Championships on Luge on Natural Track in Vatra Dornei (ROU), the first medals were awarded in presence of FIL President Josef Fendt, FIL Vice President Harald Steyrer and Sorin Buta, President of the Romanian Bobsleigh and Luge Federation.

On Friday, February 3rd, nine squads participated in the team competition of the FIL World Championships in Romania. In the end, the Austrian team emerged victorious after a thrilling race: With a time of 04:02.44 minutes, Tina Unterberger, Thomas Kammerlander and Rupert Brüggler/Tobias Angerer won the competition ahead of the teams from Italy and Russia, which ranked second and third, respectively.

“That’s how you start the World Championships,” the Austrian athletes laughed after the race. They were satisfied with their performances under difficult circumstances due to the warm temperatures and light drizzle, but they were also a little bit surprised because the race was not as close as they thought it would be: Kammerlander and Brüggler/Angerer delivered the fastest run times, in the end the team from Austria had a margin of nearly one and a half seconds to the Italian squad, which ranked second. While Greta Pinggera (ITA) was the fastest female athlete on this day in the team competition, her teammates Alex Gruber and Patrick Pigneter/Florian Clara could have done better: They were not only slower than Kammerlander and Brüggler/Angerer, but also than Juri Talikh and Aleksey Martyanov/Ivan Rodin, who, along with Svetlana Zaravina, raced for Russia. After ranking third in all the team competitions of this season’s GRM Group Luge World Cup, the squad from Russia also came in third in Vatra Dornei – the Russian athletes had a time of 04:04.06 minutes and won the bronze medal. Anisoara Hutopila, Adrian Filimon and Bogdan Morosan/Ciprian Codrut Taslaoanu, who raced for Romania, the host of the 21st FIL World Championships, ranked fourth.

On Saturday, February 4th, the FIL World Championships continue with the first competition runs of the women, the men and the doubles; in addition to that, the final runs for the latter will also be executed.

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