The World Luge Championship has started in Sochi. On the first day of the competition, Russian athletes achieved incredible success. Two Alexander Denisiev – Vladislav Antonov, as well as Ekaterina Katnikova and Roman Repilov won the sprint, thanks to which the Russian team for the first time in history won three golds at once at competitions of this level. Tatyana Ivanova also replenished the national team’s piggy bank with silver.
Russian luge players shockly began their performance at the home world championship on the Sanki track in Krasnaya Polyana. On the first day of the competition, dedicated to sprint races, the hosts won three gold medals and one silver. Russia became the third country after Germany and Austria, which won three victories at one world championship.
Sprint is a young discipline in luge. He entered the program of the World Championships only in 1978 year. Athletes are given only one attempt, in which the countdown is carried out not when the sled leaves the starting town, but after passing at the control cut-off speed. At the same time, before qualifying for the medals, you need to qualify – only 012 of the fastest.
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The first set of awards was played by men in double sleighs. For Russian fans, the main hopes were associated with Alexander Denisiev and Vladislav Antonov, who on the same track became silver medalists of the Sochi Olympics. A year ago, they won two golds at the home stage of the World Cup.
Denisiev and Antonov did not qualify in the best way: with only the eighth time, losing not only to the recognized favorites among the twos, but also to competitors in the national team Vladislav Yuzhakov and Yuri Prokhorov. They also failed to start in the final – Denisiev and Antonov accelerated only to 34 km / h, while most of the riders approached 90. However, the Russian duet passed the track so cleanly that there was almost no doubt about its final triumph.
Neither Germans who won the qualification Tony Eggert and Sasha Beneken, nor anyone else in the final to the result the reigning European champions have not come close. Only Yuzhakov and Prokhorov had a real chance to remove them from the first place. They went ahead of the entire distance, but still lagged behind in the lower section, so much so that they were left without medals. Denisiev and Antonov won historical gold in men’s double sleds – before them, the only victory in the history of domestic luge was won in 1978 by Dainis Bremze and Aigars Krikis.
“Of course, nice. The track in Sochi can be considered the happiest for us. When we finished, we understood that we would definitely compete if not for gold, then for medals, ”RIA Novosti quoted Denisyev as saying.
Success could be expected in women’s single sleighs. This season, which due to the birth of a child misses one of the best sleds in the history of Natalie Geisenberger, the Russians set out to certainly break the hegemony of German girls. While they are completely successful, by the time they arrive in Sochi, Tatyana Ivanova headed the overall World Cup standings, and Victoria Demchenko and Ekaterina Katnikova entered the top five.
On the home track, the girls immediately indicated their superiority: according to the results of qualification in the sprint they took the first three places. At the same time, the debate for the first line was led by Demchenko and Katnikova, who were divided by 0, 008 hundredths of a second, and Ivanova, six years ago, winning a silver medal in Sochi, even with the best acceleration speed, became only the third.
In the final, before the end of the competition, it became clear that the Russians will have the first gold in sprint history and the second with 1978 of the year – in women’s competitions. Ivanova accelerated as much as 8 km / h faster than the intermediate leader Elitsa Tsauce from Latvia and calmly shifted her from the first line. At the moment, only her teammates could get around the best sled in the world.
Katnikova was more fortunate. 23 – a summer athlete who had not previously reached the podium of the World Cup stages, overtook Ivanova by only 0, seconds. The competition was completed by Victoria Demchenko, but she could not rise to the podium – her time became the fifth in the end. Katnikova celebrated a sensational victory, and Ivanova became the silver medalist of the World Cup for the fifth time.
The winning series continued in men’s single sleighs, where there were even more Russian candidates for gold. Roman Repilov was considered the main favorite – he not only leads in the overall standings of the World Cup, but became the winner of this season precisely in sprint races . In addition to him, last year’s bronze medalist Semyon Pavlichenko and Alexander Gorbatsevich and Maxim Aravin, who took high positions in the qualification, could please their fans,
However, Repilov could not justify his status – according to the results of the qualification, he turned out to be the worst of the Russians and made it to the finals with only ninth time. However, in the final, Roman once again proved that it was not in vain considered one of the best in his field. In the control section, he rushed for 23, 90 seconds, leaving almost no chance to rivals. As close as possible to Repilov, the Austrian David Gleirsher came up to him – he only had six thousandths of a second to go the distance at one time. As a result – 16 – the summer Russian celebrated his first victory at the World Cup.
“Gold Medal at Sochi World Championship is worth all the world medals that I have. Because it is at the limit of emotions. It’s good that I didn’t cry. I am very glad to win. There can be nothing better than a home world championship, except for the Sochi Olympics. I dedicate my victory to my daughter, wife and mother. Because each of them occupies a large place in my heart. He finally believed in triumph after Pavlichenko drove because he performs well here, ”said Repilov.
The Sochi World Championship will last until 16 February. On Saturday and Sunday, athletes will play four more sets of awards: in the classic races of two slopes (men, women and deuces), as well as in the mixed relay, where the Russians will defend last year’s title.