Pavlichenko wins World Cup men’s luge opener

IGLS, Austria (AP) Russia’s Semen Pavlichenko handled snowy conditions to win the World Cup men’s luge season opener Sunday, his fourth career singles victory.

Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl was second on his home track, and Germany’s two-time Olympic champion Felix Loch was third.

The medalists Sunday were the three most recent world champions – Pavlichenko won in 2015, Loch in 2016 and Kindl took the title last season.

Pavlichenko was fifth after the first run. The four sliders ahead of him were greeted by a heavy snow squall for their second run, and their times plummeted. Dominik Fischnaller of Italy, Andi Langenhan of Germany, Julian Von Schleinitz of Germany and Stepan Fedorov of Russia held the top four spots going into the second heat, but none medaled.

Tucker West was the top American, finishing 16th.

Loch got his second medal of the day in the team relay, helping Germany to a victory. Loch teamed with Natalie Geisenberger and the doubles team of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken to prevail in 2:10.667. Geisenberger and the team of Eggert-Benecken both went double-gold on the weekend after winning their races Saturday as well.

Canada was second in the team relay, Russia took third and the U.S. got fourth.

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