Luge at the 2010 Winter Olympics – Doubles

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Doubles
at the XXI Olympic Winter Games
Luge pictogram.svg
Pictogram for luge
Venue Whistler Sliding Centre
Dates 17 February
Competitors 20 teams from 11 nations
Winning time 1:22.705
Medalists
1st, gold medalist(s) Andreas Linger &
Wolfgang Linger
 Austria
2nd, silver medalist(s) Andris Šics &
Juris Šics
 Latvia
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Patric Leitner &
Alexander Resch
 Germany
← 2006
2014 →
Luge at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Luge pictogram.svg
Events
Singles  men  women
Doubles  doubles

The doubles luge event at the 2010 Winter Olympics was held on 17 February at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, British Columbia.[1] Twenty teams participated. Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger, the defending Olympic[2] and European champions,.[3] won the gold medal. The silver medal was also won by a pair of brothers, Andris and Juris Šics of Latvia.[4] Germans Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch clinched the bronze medal after edging out Italians Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber, who were in third place after the first run.[4]

Changes had been made to the track after a Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died during a training run before the Games began. The turn where Kumaritashvili died was adjusted and padding was added to medal support pillar nearby. In addition, the start of the doubles race was moved to the junior start, meaning not only that the course was shorter but that the athletes would enter a turn and then a sharp corner almost immediately after the start. This required a change in strategy for many competitors, and a limited number of training runs in which to develop it. However, media reports mentioned the changes positively after a doubles team, Austria's Tobias and Markus Schiegl, crashed in the same turn where Kumaritashvili was killed.[4]

Rules[edit]

In accordance with the International Olympic Committee and the International Luge Federation (FIL), 20 doubles teams (40 athletes total) were allowed to take part in the event.[5] Athletes were to be ranked by the number of world cup points they earned in the 2008–09 season and through the first half (before 31 December) of the 2009–10 season. To be eligible, athletes must either have earned world cup points in five World Cups, Nations Cup or Junior World Cup, or have a top-16 (doubles) finish at the world cup during the qualification period. The top-20 doubles sleds were to be qualified for the Olympics, up to two sleds per nation, with unused quotas to be redistributed with priority given to unrepresented nations. The host nation (Canada) was to be guaranteed a sled in every event provided that they reached the minimum requirements.[5][6]

International Luge Federation rules for doubles events require that teams participate in two competition runs. The times are then added together and the sled with the lowest time is the winner.[7]

Preview[edit]

As defending Olympic and European champions, Andreas and Wolfgang Linger were expected to be competitive in the doubles event.[4] However, there were a number of other teams which were expected to be contenders for the gold medal. Italy's team of Gerhard Plankensteiner and Oswald Haselrieder entered the Vancouver Games as the defending Olympic bronze medalists and the defending world champions.[2][8] The test event that took place at the venue was won by the German team of André Florschütz and Torsten Wustlich, the defending Olympic silver medalists.[2][9] The last World Cup event prior to the 2010 games took place in Cesana, Italy on 30 January 2010 and was won by the German duo of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt,[10] who might also have but contenders but who did not qualify for the 2010 Games, losing out to teammates Florschütz and Wustlich and 2002 doubles champions Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch.[2]

Records[edit]

While the IOC does not consider luge times eligible for Olympic records, the International Luge Federation (FIL) does maintain records for both the start and a complete run at each track it competes.

The start and track records were set at the test event from the women's singles/ men's doubles start house for the 2010 Games on 20 February 2009.

Type[9] Date Team Time
Start 20 February 2009  Germany
Tobias Wendl
Tobias Arlt
7.054
Track 20 February 2009  Germany
Patric Leitner
Alexander Resch
48.608

Death of Nodar Kumaritashvili[edit]

During training on February 12, 2010, Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili was going at over 143 kilometres per hour (89 mph) when he crashed in the last turn and hit a steel pole. He was administered CPR at the track, then taken away to hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Training was immediately stopped.[11] As a result, the start of the men's single competition was moved to the women's/doubles' start to reduce speed and the wall at corner where Kumaritashvili crashed was raised.[12]

Investigations were conducted the same day, concluding that the accident was not caused by deficiencies in the track. As a preventative measure, the walls at the exit of curve 16 will be raised and a change in the ice profile will be made.[13] A joint statement was issued by the FIL, the International Olympic Committee, and the Vancouver Organizing Committee over Kurmaitasvili's death with training suspended for the rest of that day.[14] According to the Coroners Service of British Columbia and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the cause was to Kumaritashvili coming out of turn 15 late and not compensating for turn 16.[15] Because of this fatality, an extra 40 yd (37 m) of wall was added after the end of Turn 16 and the ice profile was changed.[15] It also moved the men's singles luge event from its starthouse to the one for both the women's singles and men's doubles event.[16] Kumaritashvili is the first Olympic athlete to die at the Winter Olympics in training since 1992[16] and the first luger to die in a practice event at the Winter Olympics since Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski of Great Britain was killed at the luge track used for the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck.[17] It was also luge's first fatality (on an artificial track[18]) since 10 December 1975, when an Italian luger was killed.[19] Kumaritavili's teammate Levan Gureshidze withdrew prior to the first run of the event.[18]

The women's singles and men's doubles starts were moved to the Junior start house of the track, located after turn 6.[20] Germany's Natalie Geisenberger complained that it was not a women's start but more of a kinder ("child" in German) start. Her teammate Tatjana Hüfner who had the fastest speed on two runs of 82.3 mph (132.4 km/h) stated that the new start position "..does not help good starters like myself".[20] American Erin Hamlin stated the track was still demanding even after the distance was lessened from 1,193 to 953 m (3,914 to 3,127 ft) and that you were still hitting 80 mph (130 km/h).[20] Despite criticisms, media reports about the doubles competition portrayed the track changes positively after Austria's Tobias and Markus Schiegl crashed at the same turn where Kumaritashvili died.[4]

On 23 March 2010, FIL President Fendt, VANOC President John Furlong, 2010 men's singles gold medalist Felix Loch of Germany visited Kumaritashvili's grave in his hometown of Bakuriani to pay respects as part of tradition in the Georgian Orthodox Church.[21]

The FIL published their reports in regards to Kumaritashvili's death on 12 April 2010 following the FIL Commissions Meeting in St. Leonhard, Austria (near Salzburg) for both sport and technical commissions on 9–11 April 2010.[22] This report was prepared by Romstad and Claire DelNegro, Vice-President Sport Artificial Track, who is from the United States.[22]

Qualifying athletes[edit]

The following athletes had qualified for the doubles event as of 4 February 2010.[23]

Competition[edit]

The two-run event took place on 17 February at 17:00 PST and 18:30 PST.[1]

Linger and Linger had the fastest time in both runs and won their second straight Olympic gold medal in this event, joining the East German duo of Hans Rinn and Norbert Hahn who won the event in 1976 and 1980 as the only repeat gold medalists in the event in Olympic history.[24][25] This was also Austria's first gold medal at these Olympics for the co-opening ceremony flagbearers.[24] The Šics brothers earned Latvia's first medals at these Olympics.[24] 2002 gold medalists Leitner and Resch earned bronze medals in their last competition.[24] Defending World Cup champions Florschütz and Wustlich finished fifth while defending world champions Plankensteiner and Haselrieder finished a disappointing ninth.

During the first run, Schiegl and Schiegl survived a crash on Turn 16 where they came in too high. Tobias tried to correct the oversteer only to have the cousins collide on the opposite side of the ice wall, causing both cousins to go airborne momentarily. Neither cousin suffered any injury.[26]

Results[edit]

Rank Bib Athlete Country Run 1[27] Run 2[28] Total Behind
1st, gold medalist(s) 11 Andreas Linger
Wolfgang Linger
 Austria 8.217
41.332
8.191
41.373
1:22.705 0.000
2nd, silver medalist(s) 7 Andris Šics
Juris Šics
 Latvia 8.256
41.420
8.251
41.549
1:22.969 +0.264
3rd, bronze medalist(s) 6 Patric Leitner
Alexander Resch
 Germany 8.315
41.566
8.261
41.474
1:23.040 +0.335
4 2 Christian Oberstolz
Patrick Gruber
 Italy 8.244
41.527
8.261
41.585
1:23.112 +0.407
5 4 André Florschütz
Torsten Wustlich
 Germany 8.276
41.545
8.345
41.645
1:23.190 +0.485
6 3 Dan Joye
Christian Niccum
 United States 8.359
41.602
8.408
41.689
1:23.291 +0.586
7 1 Chris Moffat
Mike Moffat
 Canada 8.363
41.675
8.319
41.723
1:23.398 +0.693
8 5 Tobias Schiegl
Markus Schiegl
 Austria 8.275
41.727
8.293
41.801
1:23.528 +0.823
9 8 Oswald Haselrieder
Gerhard Plankensteiner
 Italy 8.419
41.789
8.374
41.860
1:23.649 +0.944
10 10 Vladimir Makhnutin
Vladislav Yuzhakov
 Russia 8.395
41.798
8.422
41.948
1:23.746 +1.041
11 15 Jan Harnis
Branislav Regec
 Slovakia 8.422
42.018
8.411
41.924
1:23.942 +1.237
12 19 Oskars Gudramovičs
Pēteris Kalniņš
 Latvia 8.385
41.982
8.496
42.013
1:23.995 +1.290
13 9 Mark Grimmette
Brian Martin
 United States 8.448
41.821
8.571
42.184
1:24.005 +1.300
14 12 Mikhail Kuzmich
Stanislav Mikheev
 Russia 8.488
42.174
8.453
41.981
1:24.155 +1.450
15 18 Justin Snith
Tristan Walker
 Canada 8.522
42.100
8.531
42.120
1:24.220 +1.515
16 13 Andriy Kis
Yuriy Hayduk
 Ukraine 8.415
42.219
8.437
42.136
1:24.355 +1.650
17 14 Cosmin Chetroiu
Ionut Taran
 Romania 8.506
42.360
8.471
42.271
1:24.631 +1.926
18 17 Luboš Jíra
Matěj Kvíčala
 Czech Republic 8.470
42.204
8.592
42.459
1:24.663 +1.958
19 20 Taras Senkiv
Roman Zaharkiv
 Ukraine 8.721
42.767
8.639
42.595
1:25.362 +2.657
20 16 Paul Ifrim
Andrei Anghel
 Romania 8.575
43.007
8.493
42.466
1:25.473 +2.768

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2010 Winter Olympics Luge schedule". Vancouver 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Winter Olympic medalists: 1964-2006" (pdf). Luge Results Artificial Track. International Luge Federation. 2006. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  3. ^ "FIL European Luge Championships 2010 men's doubles 23 January 2010 results". Results database. International Luge Federation. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Luge: Linger brothers retain luge doubles crown". Agence France-Presse. Vancouver 2010. 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  5. ^ a b Staff writer (19 December 2008). "Again 110 Luge Athletes To Participate at Olympic Games". International Luge Federation. Accessed 19 December 2008.
  6. ^ Staff writer (13 November 2009). "Road to Vancouver via the Viessmann World Cup". International Luge Federation. Accessed 19 November 2009.
  7. ^ "International Luge Regulations - Artificial Track" (pdf). International Luge Federation. 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  8. ^ "FIL-Luge.org World Luge championship medalists: 1955-2009" (PDF). International Luge Federation. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  9. ^ a b "FIL Luge World Cup Whistler 20 February 2009 doubles results". Results database. International Luge Federation. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  10. ^ "FIL Luge World Cup Cesana 30 January 2010 doubles results". Results database. International Luge Federation. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  11. ^ ZINSER, LYNN (February 12, 2010). "Luge Athlete Killed in Training Crash at Olympics". New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Officials delay reopening of sliding track". CTV. February 13, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Joint VANOC - FIL Statement on Men’s Luge Competition". Vancouver2010.com. 
  14. ^ Joined Statement of IOC, FIL, and VANOC. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (12 February 2010 article accessed 13 February 2010.
  15. ^ a b Joint VANOC-FIL Statement on Men's Luge Competition. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (13 February 2010 article accessed 13 February 2010.)
  16. ^ a b "Men's Olympic lugers will start lower on track". - 12 February 2010 NBCOlympics.com article accessed 13 February 2010.
  17. ^ "Luge (Toboggan): Men". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. (2009). David Wallechinsky and Jaime Loucky, Editor. London: Aurum Press Limited. p. 158.
  18. ^ a b "Georgian luger Levan Gureshidze pulls out of event". BBC News. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  19. ^ "Luge start moved as officials defend Whistler Sliding track". Vancouver2010.com. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  20. ^ a b c "Luge-Women sliders now have kids race - German". Martyn Herman (Reuters via Yahoo! Sports). (14 February 2010 article accessed 14 February 2010.
  21. ^ VANOC President Furlong, FIL President Fendt and Olympic champion Loch. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (25 March 2010 article accessed 27 March 2010.)
  22. ^ a b FIL Final Report to be published after the Commissions meetings. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (25 March 2010 article accessed 27 March 2010.)
  23. ^ Vancouver2010.com luge athletes. - accessed 4 February 2010.
  24. ^ a b c d Andreas Linger/Wolfgang Linger repeat Olympic victory. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (18 February 2010 article accessed 18 February 2010.)
  25. ^ Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Luge (Toboggan): Two-Seater". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press Limited. p. 174.
  26. ^ "Schiegl brothers suffer scare on Corner 16". - Yahoo! Sports 17 February 2010 Martyn Herman article accessed 18 February 2010.
  27. ^ 2010 Winter Olympics 17 February 2010 Luge doubles run 1 results. - accessed 18 February 2010.
  28. ^ 2010 Winter Olympics 17 February 2010 Luge doubles run 2 results. - accessed 18 February 2010.