Italian Dominik Fischnaller claimed the second Luge World Cup victory of his career at the season opener at the Olympic Sliding Centre in Igls today.
After winning in 1994 Winter Olympics host Lillehammer two years ago, Fischnaller triumphed on the Austrian track with an overall time of 1min 40.687sec after two runs.
He edged out home slider Armin Frauscher who claimed his best ever result with silver thanks to a time of 1:40.693, while Austria also took third place thanks to Wolfgang Kindl's 1:40.719.
Fischnaller's success came after Germany's triple Olympic champion Felix Loch was disqualified due to an overweight sled.
Loch had been in front after the opening run with the Italian able to take full advantage of his misfortune.
The winner did admit, however, that he might not have been able to overhaul the German had he remained in contention.
"I can’t imagine a better start for the season," said Fischnaller, the 2013 Junior World Champion who was sixth at the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
"It was one of my aims to win a World Cup race one more time.
"Now I want to keep this level the whole season.
"I’m not sure, whether it would have been possible for me to beat Felix Loch."
German head coach Norbert Loch, father of four-time world champion Felix, said that "human mistakes happen" after his son's disqualification.
Meanwhile, Germany's European champion Dajana Eitberge won the women's event, with compatriot and two-time Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger forced to settle for silver as she began the defence of a title she has won for the last three years.
Germany's Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken triumphed in the doubles, and the duo then teamed up with team-mates Dajana Eitberger and Andi Langenhan to secure victory in the team relay.
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