SIGULDA (AP): Max Langenhan of Germany pulled off a big comeback on Saturday to win a World Cup singles luge race, rallying from 12th place after the first of two heats.
Langenhan had the fastest time in the second heat and finished in 1 minute, 37.588 seconds. Germany’s Felix Loch was second in 1:37.646 and Latvia’s Kristers Aparjods was third in 1:37.673.
Tucker West of the U.S. was 16th after Heat 1 and had the third-best time in the second run to finish ninth in 1:38.211. Jonny Gustafson was 22nd for the U.S. in 1:39.132.
Ukraine’s Anton Dukach was in medal position after the first heat, sitting in third place. Dukach wound up 10th, missing out on a chance to give his war-torn homeland a men’s luge World Cup medal for the first time.
The only medal won under the flag of Ukraine at a major luge event was at the 2009 world championships in Lake Placid, New York. Natalia Yakushenko was third in the women’s race behind Erin Hamlin of the U.S. and Natalie Geisenberger of Germany; Yakushenko’s other top international finish was bronze in a world championships team event in 1990, representing the Soviet Union.
Ukraine declared its independence in 1991. Latvia wound up with four of a possible nine medals on the day, after winning three in the doubles races.
Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won the men’s doubles in 1:24.022. Latvia got second and third; Martins Bots and Roberts Plume finished in 1:24.084, while Eduards Sevics-Mikelsevics and Lukass Krasts finished in 1:24.111.
For the U.S., Zack DiGregorio and Sean Hollander were eighth in 1:24.415. Dana Kellogg and Duncan Segger were 17th in 1:27.496.
Italy won the women’s doubles race, with Andrea Voetter and Marion Oberhofer finishing in 1:26.281. Latvia’s Anda Upite and Sanija Ozolina were second in 1:26.782, while the German sled of Jessica Degenhardt and Cheyenne Rosenthal were third in 1:26.839.
Chevonne Forgan and Sophie Kirkby were fifth for the U.S. in 1:26.899. Maya Chan and Reannyn Weiler were eighth in 1:47.718.