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German duo Wendl and Arlt defend men’s double luge title

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Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany slide during the Luge Doubles run 1 on day five of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics at the Olympic Sliding Centre on February 14, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

Image credit: Getty Images

ByMichael Hincks
14/02/2018 at 13:20 | Updated 14/02/2018 at 14:14
@MichaelHincks

German duo Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt took gold in the men’s double luge to defend their Olympic title.

Compatriots Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, the 2017 world champions, had to settle for bronze behind Austrian pair Peter Penz and Georg Fischler.

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Wendl and Arlt led by 0.071 seconds after the first run, but only beat the Austrian duo by 0.017secs after the latter piled on the pressure in the second and final run.

Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt

Image credit: Getty Images

Germany have now won two out of three of the luge titles at the Pyeongchang Games, following Natalie Geisenberger's second successive triumph in the women's singles on Tuesday.

Wendl and Arlt had been decidedly second best to Eggert and Benecken throughout the season but stunned the world champions with a sizzling opening run of 45.820 seconds to top the timesheets.

The Austrian duo of Peter Penz and Georg Fischler also threw down the gauntlet with a blazing first effort to leave Eggert and Benecken third at the interval.

Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt

Image credit: Getty Images

That was how the podium positions remained as Wendl and Arlt summoned up their Olympic experience to continue Germany's dominance of the event.

German athletes have now won 11 out of 15 of the doubles golds in luge dating back to the 1964 Innsbruck Games.

A number of pairs struggled with the tricky ice track, including the Ukraine team of Olesandr Obolonchyk and Roman Zakharkiv, who careered down the course like a pin-ball on their first run, leaving their coach yanking at his long beard in frustration.

Despite allowing mixed gender teams since 1994, the doubles event remains male-dominated due to height, weight and strength compatibility issues between athletes of the opposite sex.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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