Luge star Armin Zöggeler won the third European title of his career in Sigulda (LAT) on Sunday, coming out on top to secure what was also his 57th individual victory.
The much decorated Italian, still operating at the highest level at 40, fended off Germany’s Johannes Ludwig to claim first place, with Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller finishing third.
Zöggeler’s European Championship win was his first since 2008. The victory also secured him second place in the final World Cup standings – which he has topped no less than ten occasions in the past – behind Germany’s Felix Loch.
Loch did not compete in Sigulda, but his total of 685 points was enough for him to complete a defence of the World Cup title he won in 2013.
Zöggeler, Olympic champion in 2002 and 2006, was pleased to be heading to Sochi on a high. “I almost botched the second run right at the start,” he admitted. “But in the middle part I was able to really accelerate. Even though the best German lugers were missing today, it’s still a great feeling to travel to the Olympic Games with such a victory.”
Among the weekend’s other highlights in Sigulda was victory for Russia in the team relay. This mixed gender event will be making its debut at Sochi 2014, and the host nation will be optimistic of a good showing after its team of Natalia Khoreva, Albert Demchenko and the doubles pairing of Vladimir Yuzhakov and Vladislav Makhnutin finished ahead of second-placed Latvia and Italy, in third, to win the title.
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