It was a day of German domination at the Luge Nations Cup event in St Moritz, with Cheyenne Rosenthal and Moritz Bollmann claiming top spot on a frantic Friday full of action in Switzerland.
On the only natural track in the World Cup circuit, the compatriots excelled in the Swiss resort, with Rosenthal claiming her first Nations Cup victory, while the Slovakian pair of Tomas Vavercak and Matej Zmij claimed doubles success in the last Nations Cup event of the 2020/21 season.
20-year-old Bollmann thundered down the run in a time of 1:06.600 to finish top of the pile in the men's event, with American Jonathan Gustafson hot on his tail, eventually finishing 0.027 seconds behind and Austria's Reinhard Egger in third.
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Reinhard Egger of Austria finished 0.045s back to claim the final spot on the podium, with all three looking to continue that rapid pace into Saturday's main World Cup event.
And Rosenthal soon made it a German double, after producing a scintillating run that saw her finally stand atop the podium in the Nations Cup, having twice finished second in her three appearances beforehand.
Latvian luger Kendija Aparjode appeared to be on course for an excellent time in St Moritz, but a slow last sector cost her dear, as she crossed the line 0.024s behind the young German, with Kendija's compatriot Elina Vitola finishing 0.36s behind in third.
In the doubles event, Vavercak and Zmij stormed to victory in a time of 54.187s, with the duo continuing their impressive rise from the junior ranks with a superb victory in Switzerland.
"We liked this track here in St. Moritz from the start. Two years ago we were fourth in the Junior European Championship and only missed the podium by four thousandths of a second," Zmij said.
"That was very close. We are very happy that races will also be held here on this track in the future.
"You have to be quick at the start, that is our strength. The track is very beautiful and interesting, and it is difficult to drive."
The American pairing of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman finished in silver 0.103s further back, while Aleksandr Denisev and Vladislav Antonov of Russia secured themselves third place with a time of 54.303s.
With the 2020/21 Nations Cup coming to a close, the Korean pairing of Jinyong Park and Jung Myung Cho claimed overall success in the doubles event, with fifth spot in Switzerland enough to see them take victory ahead of the Austrian duo of Martin Riccardo and Juri Thomas Gatt.
Gints Berzins of Latvia took top spot in the men's event, with the 18-year-old not even having to compete in St Moritz after wrapping up the title earlier in the year, while Verena Hofer of Italy finished top of the pile in the women's single seater.
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