Olympic champ David Gleirscher gets 1st World Cup luge win

Austria's Thomas Steu, right, and Lorenz Koller, left, pose during the winning ceremony for the men's doubles luge race of the Luge World Cup in Altenberg, Germany, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (Matthias Rietschel/dpa via AP)
Austria's Thomas Steu, left, and Lorenz Koller, right, celebrate winning the men's doubles luge race of the Luge World Cup in Altenberg, Germany, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (Matthias Rietschel/dpa via AP)
Dominik Fischnaller from Italy in action during the men's single luge first heat race at the Luge World Cup in Altenberg, Germany, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (Matthias Rietschel/dpa via AP)
David Gleirscher from Austria in action during the men's single luge first heat race at the Luge World Cup in Altenberg, Germany, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (Matthias Rietschel/dpa via AP)

ALTENBERG, Germany — Olympic champion David Gleirscher finally got his first World Cup luge victory, leading Austria’s sweep of gold Saturday.

Gleirscher finished two runs at historic Altenberg in 1 minute, 48.150 seconds to hold off Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller by about one-quarter of a second. Fischnaller finished in 1:48.383 and Germany’s Felix Loch was third in 1:48.420.

Gleirscher becomes the third different Austrian man to win a race this season. He’s 1 for 1 at the Olympics, after being the surprise winner of gold at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. And he’s now 1 for 59 in World Cup races, getting that elusive first win after spending parts of seven seasons on the circuit.

Chris Mazdzer was the top U.S. men’s finisher, placing 13th -- one spot ahead of teammate Jonny Gustafson. Tucker West was 21st.

In the doubles race, the Austrian sled of Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller won at Altenberg for the second straight year after finishing in 1:23.779. Germany took second, with World Cup doubles standings leaders Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken finishing in 1:24.007. Russia’s team of Aleksandr Denisev and Vladislav Antonov was third in 1:24.060.

Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman were 17th for the U.S.

It was the first World Cup day of racing for luge in four weeks, following the extended holiday break. The Altenberg stop concludes Sunday with women’s racing and a team relay.

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