Eggert, Benecken capture 4th straight luge World Cup doubles season title
German teammate Julia Taubitz takes women's championship
Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the World Cup doubles overall title on Saturday, and Germany's Julia Taubitz claimed the 2019-20 women's championship. Both crowns were decided in the final race of the season for each discipline.
Eggert and Benecken won the World Cup season title for the fourth season in a row and fifth time overall. That title came down to the final heat of the season, with Eggert and Benecken needing to beat fellow German veterans Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt.
They did just that, finishing in one minute 39.777 seconds, about a quarter-second ahead of Wendl and Arlt.
Latvia's Andris Sics and Juris Sics were third and third overall in the season doubles standings.
The American doubles sled of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman was a season-best seventh in the finale and ended the year ranked 20th overall. They missed half of the season's 12 doubles races, mostly because of injuries.
Tatyana Ivanova and Taubitz were the only contenders left for the women's World Cup overall title, with the Russian leading by 27 points going into the finale.
Taubitz seizes opportunity
But Ivanova struggled in her second run, leaving the door open for Taubitz. The German delivered with the second-fastest run of the final heat, good enough to replace seven-time champion Natalie Geisenberger as the new World Cup women's overall titlist. Geisenberger took this season off while she and her husband expected their first child.
Anna Berreiter of Germany won the race, with Taubitz second and Russia's Viktoriia Demchenko third. Summer Britcher, the top American in fourth place, finished fifth in the overall season standings.
Taubitz wound up winning the season title by eight points over Ivanova, with Demchenko third and Berreiter fourth.
The men's World Cup season title will be decided Sunday, followed by a team relay to close the international luge season.