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Lake Placid: German gold in doubles, women’s luge World Cup

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Germany’s Julia Taubitz held off Emily Sweeney of the United States for the win in a World Cup women’s luge race on Saturday at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Taubitz finished her two runs in 1 minute, 27.484 seconds. Sweeney won the silver in 1:27.551, and Russia’s Viktoriia Demchenko was third in 1:27.706.

Sweeney set the track record in her second run, putting her into the lead with only Taubitz left to race. But Taubitz also topped the previous track mark, besting Sweeney by three-hundredths of a second and denying what would have been her second career World Cup gold.

“I had it for a little bit,” Sweeney said during her postrace celebration on the finish deck trackside. “Not long enough. It was definitely on my mind. ... It’s definitely a personal best for me and that’s what I focus on and walk away with, not that I had it and lost it.”

Sweeney broke bones in her neck and back in a crash at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and still feels pain from that. For her, silver on her home track was still something to savor. “I’m so happy with the progress that I’m making,” said Sweeney, who has won at least one medal in each of the last six World Cup seasons.

Summer Britcher was fourth and Ashley Farquharson was ninth for the U.S. In doubles, Germany’s team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt had the fastest time in both runs Saturday on the way to winning. Wendl and Arlt finished in 1:27.317 seconds.

German teammates Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken — who hadn’t lost a race at Lake Placid in more than six years — were second in 1:27.501, and Austria’s Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller were third in 1:27.513.

The U.S. doubles sled of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman was sixth after the first run, then crashed in the second trip down the track and failed to finish. That means the Americans will not have a spot in Sunday’s doubles sprint, where Mazdzer and Terdiman would have had a legitimate shot at a medal.

It was the first win for Wendl and Arlt at Lake Placid since the 2012-13 season. Eggert and Benecken had won all seven doubles races at Mount Van Hoevenberg since, until Saturday.

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