This weekend, the 21. FIL World Championships on Luge on Natural Track will take place in Vatra Dornei

VATRA DORNEI. Before the final races of the GRM Group Luge World Cup on Natural track will be executed from February 17th to 18th in Umhausen (AUT), there is another highlight for the athletes: This weekend, the 21. FIL World Championships on Luge on Natural Track will be held from February 3rd to 5th in Vatra Dornei (ROU), a spa and ski resort located in north-east Romania.

The track in Vatra Dornei has proved itself many times in the past: In the last years not only numerous World Cup races were executed there, in 2014 Vatra Dornei also hosted the Junior World Championships – and quite a few athletes who were successful then will also race this year in Romania: Among others, Greta Pinggera (ITA) and Michelle Diepold (AUT), who won the gold and the bronze medal in 2014, respectively, will participate in the World Championships in Vatra Dornei as well as the Russian gold medal winner of the men’s event in 2014, Aleksey Martyanov.

The World Championships take place every two years, last time they were executed in 2015 in St. Sebastian (AUT). Then, three Italians dominated the men’s event: Patrick Pigneter won ahead of his teammates Alex Gruber and Florian Breitenberger. Apart from the Italians, one of this year’s big favorites is Thomas Kammerlander (AUT), who ranked fourth in St. Sebastian in 2015: The Austrian has demonstrated his skills this season more than once, he stood on the podium after every race of the GRM Group Luge World Cup and is currently leading in the overall standings.

At the women’s event, Greta Pinggera (ITA) is considered one of the favorites this year: The bronze medal winner of 2015 has shown great performances recently, she was able to win the last two races of the GRM Group Luge World Cup ahead of her teammate Evelin Lanthaler. Nevertheless, Lanthaler, who still has the lead in the overall standings, will probably be the athlete to beat in Vatra Dornei – the reigning World and European Champion clarified that she will do everything it takes to defend her title. The silver medal winner of 2015, Ekaterina Lavrentjeva (RUS), is not participating in this year’s races, but it will be thrilling to see who is going take the Russian’s place – in any case, Tina Unterberger (AUT) and Sara Bachmann (ITA), among others, are ready for the competitions in Romania.

At the doubles’ event in St. Sebastian, Patrick Pigneter/Florian Clara (ITA) were victorious and won the gold medal, the Austrians Rupert Brüggler/Tobias Angerer came in second, and Pavel Porshnev/Ivan Lazarev (RUS) came in third. Pigneter/Clara stated that the World Championships are their main goal this season, but the other pairings surely will give them a hard time in Vatra Dornei. Especially the Russians are in good shape this season: Porshnev/Lazarev won the last GRM Group Luge World Cup race in Deutschnofen/Nova Ponente (ITA) and currently rank second in the overall standings, only five points behind serial winners and favorites Pigneter/Clara. But there are also other doubles who intend to play a big role in Romania, among them Christian Schopf/Andreas Schopf – the Austrians also had a great season so far and currently rank third in the overall standings of the GRM Group Luge World Cup.


Thursday, 2.02.2017
9.30 1. training run men and women
afterwards 2. training run men and women
14.00 1. training run doubles
15.00 2. training run doubles
18.00 Opening ceremony

Friday, 3.02.2017
10.00 3. training run men, women, doubles (who do not start in the team event)
12.30 Team event, afterwards flower ceremony
18.00 Award ceremony team event

Saturday, 4.02.2017
10.00 1. competition run doubles
afterwards 1. competition run women
11.45 2. competition run doubles (final), afterwards flower ceremony
12.30 1. competition run men
18.00 Award ceremony doubles

Sunday, 5.02.2017
10.00 2. competition run women
afterwards 2. competition run men
12.30 Final run women, afterwards flower ceremony
13.30 Final run men, afterwards flower ceremony
16.00 Award ceremony men and women

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