Germany’s Julia Taubitz moved to within two points of the overall women’s lead in the International Luge Federation (FIL) World Cup standings today as she earned victory at her home venue of Eiskanal Altenberg.
Taubitz, winner of both the classic and sprint events at the second FIL World Cup in Lake Placid, dominated the fourth event, pushing her Russian rival, Tatyana Ivanova, into second place.
But the Russian earned a measure of revenge in the concluding event of the weekend as she contributed to victory in the team relay.
Ivanova, a multiple world and World Cup champion and three-times European champion, remains top of the women’s standings with six of this season's 12 World Cup events remaining, with 482 points.
But Taubitz - for whom this was the fifth World Cup singles victory of her career - is now right on her shoulder with 480, ahead of third-placed Russian Victoriia Demchenko, on 332, and Emily Sweeney of the United States, who has 303.
Third place today went to Andrea Votter of Italy.
"My runs weren’t great so I’m really glad I still managed to win," Taubitz said.
"It’s so nice to take victory on my home track.
"I’m in a positive frame of mind going into the second half of the season."
Ivanova commented: "I was a little nervous before the race.
"We trained in warm temperatures all week, and now it was suddenly much colder and a good deal faster.
"I didn’t slide well on the second run, which is a real shame."
The records of Taubitz and Ivanova thus far into the 2019-2020 season are identical - with the Russian winning the opening event in Innsbruck and taking the classic and sprint gold in the last World Cup at Whistler last month.
Russia’s team relay win over Germany represented victory for the world champions over the Olympic and European champions.
The Russian quartet of vanova, Semen Pavlichenko and Aleksandr Denisev/Vladislav Antonov finished in 2min 22.517sec, ahead of Germany’s quartet of Taubitz, Felix Loch and Toni Eggert/Sascha Benecken, who clocked 2:22.530.
The Italian team comprising Vötter, Dominik Fischnaller and Emanuel Rieder/Simon Kainzwaldner were third in 2:22.620.
The Austrian squad - Madeleine Egle, David Gleirscher and Thomas Steu/Lorenz Koller - came home in fourth place.
After two of six events in the Viessmann Team Relay World Cup, Italy are still top of the overall standings on 170 points, having claimed victory in the season opener in Innsbruck.
The German team currently lies second overall on 155, with Russia third on 146.
The Norwegian town of Lillehammer is set to host the fifth Viessmann Luge World Cup of the 2019-2020 season this coming weekend.
The 51st FIL European Championships will also be staged on the track which hosted the 1994 Olympic Games.