Russia’s Semen Pavlichenko claimed his second International Luge Federation (FIL) European Championship title after triumphing on the second and final day of the World Cup leg in Königssee, Germany.
The 25-year-old was fastest on both runs and clocked a combined time of 1 min 38.363sec to finish ahead of home favourite Ralf Palik, 0.248sec behind in the runners-up spot, and Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl, 0.460 back in third.
"Before the start, a spectator told me that this was my kind of weather and it would be a good day for me," Pavlichenko, the 2015 world and European champion, said.
"He was right."
Germany’s Felix Loch, who clinched his fifth World Championship title in Königssee last year, had to settle for fourth and is still waiting for his first World Cup win of the season.
Russia’s Roman Repilov took fifth place to retain his overall lead in the World Cup standings on 462 points.
Kindl is second on 436 points, while Loch is third on 435.
Pavlichenko was the first non-German to win a title in Königssee following yesterday’s wins for Natalie Geisenberger in the women’s singles and Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt in the doubles.
However, Germany returned to the top of the podium in the team relay event.
The quartet of Geisenberger, Palik, Wendl and Arlt posted a time of 2:42.348 to successfully defend their continental crown.
Kindl teamed up with Miriam Kastlunger, Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller as Austria finished in the runners-up spot, 1.269 off the pace.
Rounding out the podium was Latvia’s Eliza Cauce, Arturs Darznieks, Andris Sics and Juris Sics, 1.638 back.
The American team of Erin Hamlin, Tucker West, Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman took second place in the World Cup, finishing 0.881 behind the Germans.
Despite coming fourth today, Canada lead the World Cup overall standings on 160 points with the US second on 155 and Germany third on 146.
A record 15 teams took part in the competition just one day before the team relay celebrates its 10th anniversary.
The next leg of the World Cup season is due to be held on the artificial ice track in the Latvian town of Sigulda from January 14 to 15.
In addition to the men’s, women’s, doubles and team relay Olympic disciplines, the three Sprint World Cup races are also on the agenda.
The event begins less than two weeks before the start of the FIL World Championships in Austrian city Innsbruck, where action is due to take place from January 26 to 29.