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Loch easily wins World Cup luge race

KONIGSSEE, Germany (AP) — Felix Loch of Germany easily won his third World Cup luge race of the season Sunday, posting the fastest heat in both runs and beating Italy's Armin Zoeggeler by nearly a second.

Loch finished in 1 minute, 38.266 seconds. Zoeggeler's time was 1:39.129 and Switzerland's Gregory Cariget was third in 1:39.203. Only five sliders in the 32-man field finished within a second of Loch, the defending Olympic champion and current World Cup points leader.

Chris Mazdzer of the U.S. had major trouble in his first run, then had the third-best time in the second heat of 49.697 seconds to finish 21st overall. Tucker West was 23rd for the U.S., and Aidan Kelly failed to finish his first heat.

Mazdzer remained fifth in the overall points standings. Later Sunday in the team relay, Loch helped Germany to another gold, teaming with Natalie Geisenberger and the doubles team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt to win in 2:42.781 — more than 1.7 seconds ahead of silver medalist Canada.

Italy was third, Russia took fourth and the U.S. team of Mazdzer, Erin Hamlin and Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall finished fifth.

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