Seven titles will be competed for at the World Luge Championships in Königssee ©Getty Images

Seven titles will be awarded at the World Luge Championships in 2016, for the first time in the 58-year history of the event.

The International Luge Federation (FIL) will hold its premier competition in Königssee, Germany, next year, and has added three sprint disciplines to the official schedule.

Sprint luge sees winners decided after just one run on a shortened track, with competitors beginning their runs under "flying start rules".

This means lugers only have four seconds to react to the gates opening as opposed to normal preparation time of 30 seconds. 

Luge team relay debuted in Königssee in 2007 before being added to the Olympic programme
Luge team relay debuted in Königssee in 2007 before being added to the Olympic programme ©Getty Images

Men's, women's and doubles sprint races will all be contested in Germany, in addition to the men's, women's and doubles races in regular luge which are currently on the Olympic schedule.

The team relay, which is also on the Olympic programme, will also be held.

Sprint races were initially due to be a test event in 2016, but the new format is now likely to be featured as an integral part of all future Championships.

If successful, there could be attempts to include sprint races at future Winter Olympics.

Team relay, which sees male and female lugers and a doubles team slide down after each other and strike paddles at the end of their runs - debuted at Königssee in 2007 before making its Olympic debut at Sochi 2014. 

The FIL has already held Sprint World Cup events and has its headquarters located near to Königssee, at the Rathausplatz in Berchtesgaden.

The track to be used in 2016 is the oldest in the world.

It features 16 curves and is over 1,640 meters in length, and is now considered as one of the most modern facilities in the world.

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