The front-runners in the Viessmann World Cup travel to the first flyaway race of the season in Calgary, Canada, with a healthy lead in the overall standings. Natalie Geisenberger (GER) currently holds the yellow jersey in the women’s event courtesy of a 70-point advantage over her nearest rival. Her teammate Felix Loch already has a commanding 99-point cushion between himself and Semen Pavlichenko (RUS) in second. In the doubles, the defending champions Toni Eggert/Sascha Benecken (GER) have a healthy 70-point buffer.
“After six weeks away from home I’m looking forward to my home race in Calgary,” Alex Gough said. Her journey has taken her from the Olympic training week in PyeongChang (KOR) to Innsbruck (AUT), Winterberg and Altenberg (GER) and now to the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Gough, who claimed bronze medals in both the 2011 and 2013 World Championships, currently lies seventh overall on 198 points. Ahead of Gough, who finished fourth in the Sochi Olympics, are the four German ladies Natalie Geisenberger, Tatyana Hüfner, Dajana Eitberger and Julia Taubitz, along with the two US lugers Emily Sweeney and Summer Britcher.
After four of the 13 races in the Viessmann World Cup scheduled for this Olympic winter, Felix Loch leads the overall standings in the men’s event with 355 points ahead of Russia’s Semen Pavlichenko. World Champion Wolfgang Kindl has moved up to third place. The Austrian finished fifth in Altenberg and currently has 237 points.
The doubles standings are dominated by the German duos. Eggert/Benecken are currently on top ahead of Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt (315) and Robin Geueke/David Gamm (236).
Going into the third round of the Viessmann Team Relay World Cup, Germany leads with a perfect score of 200. Second place is held by Canada (145) ahead of Austria (135).
The Olympic track in Calgary will host the 2017/2018 America-Pacific Championships. The defending women’s champion Erin Hamlin (USA), men’s champion Tucker West, and doubles champions Matt Mortensen/Jayson Terdiman will all defend their titles in Canada Olympic Park (COP). The titles will be awarded using a race-in-race format at the Viessmann Luge World Cup on December 8-9.
“The World Cup is more important than these Championships,” says Erin Hamlin. The current World Sprint Champion classifies the event still further: “The European Championships have a long-standing tradition and are perhaps slightly more meaningful.”
Teammate Emily Sweeney laughingly adds: “But it’s always nice to see your own flag at a ceremony.”
FIL Anniversary World Championships
The anniversary World Championships of the International Luge Federation (FIL) will be held in 2021 in Calgary, Canada. The 65th Congress of the International Luge Federation in Constanţa, Romania, awarded the 50th title races to the host track of the 1988 Olympics.
Calgary prevailed by 20 votes to 15 in a crucial vote against the artificial ice track in Oberhof (GER). Calgary will therefore host the FIL World Championships for the fourth time, having previously staged the 1990, 1993 and 2001 events.
The ice track in Canada Olympic Park is due to be renovated and modernized in spring 2018 ahead of the World Championships. The province of Alberta is set to give operator WinSport Canada a total of $10 million (CAD) for work on aspects of the track including the cooling system. The lighting and awning will also be updated. After the renovation, the track will be shorter than in the past.
Aileen Frisch to compete in Calgary
Despite sustaining ligament damage to her ankle, Korea’s new luger Aileen Frisch is set to compete at the Viessmann World Cup next Friday and Saturday in Calgary, Canada, to ensure she does not miss out on the chance to represent her elected homeland at the Winter Olympics (February 9-25, 2018).
The 25 year-old, who acquired a passport from the Olympic host nation last year, suffered the injury to her left foot at the Asia Championships in Altenberg. Frisch, a former Junior World Champion and U23 World Champion for Germany, suffered a metatarsal fracture to the same foot back in October.