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Artificial Track News vom 23.11.11  
New luge season kicks off in Innsbruck-Igls

Tatjana Huefner and Armin Zoeggeler ahead of new records


Berchtesgaden (pps) Two Olympic victories, six World Championship titles, ten overall wins as well as 54 individual victories in the Viessmann Luge World Cup – the exceptionally gifted Armin Zoeggeler, on Italy’s junior luge team since 1991 and two years later on Italy’s national squad, seems to be bent on setting new records. As the first luger ever, the 37-year-old might take his eleventh overall World Cup victory and thus become sole record winner. So far, Zoeggeler and Markus Prock of Austria are tied for first place on the overall rankings, both having earned ten victories.


In the upcoming season Olympic and World champion Tatjana Huefner might go down in the history books of the International Luge Federation, FIL.

Should the 28-year-old from Germany earn her fifth consecutive overall World Cup, she will draw level with the current record winner, Silke Kraushaar-Pielach (GER).


But prior to the first event of the new season in Innsbruck-Igls, however, the outstanding female luger of the past years is modest as always, referring to her season’s goals. “Of course I’ll give it my best shot – and then we’ll see what happens”, said Tatjana Huefner with her usual reticence. And true to this motto she collected, in the past years, one Olympic victory, three World Championship titles and four overall Viessmann Luge World Cup wins. And last but not least her 28 individual victories, earning her a third place on the list of record winners behind Germany’s two-time Olympic champion Sylke Otto (37 individual victories) and Kraushaar-Pielach (36).


Linger brothers still lack overall Viessmann Luge World Cup victory


While Huefner and Zoeggeler collected overall Viessmann Luge World Cup victories as others might stamps, the two Linger brothers Andreas and Wolfgang of Austria hope to win this one title still missing in their collection. “Especially the overall World Cup is very important for us”, said Wolfgang. Andreas and Wolfgang claimed two Olympic victories, two World Championship titles and became 2010 European champions. But… they failed to achieve an overall World Cup victory. “We need to see how the season unfolds”, explained Andreas Linger.


The situation in the doubles‘ has hardly changed prior to the new winter.

The strongest opponents of the Linger brothers are - as in the past

2010-2011 season - Germany’s Tobias Wendl-Tobias Arlt, who have one overall World Cup victory to their credit but failed to win a medal at the Worlds, as well as Christian Oberstolz-Patrick Gruber of Italy, the World runners-up. However, there is a question mark behind the possible performance of Latvia’s Sics brothers Andris and Juris (2010 Olympic silver and 2011 World bronze medallists) following a car accident of Juris in summer. In addition it remains to be seen if the Russian doubles’, headed by World fourth-placed Vladislav Yuzhakov-Vladimir Makhnutin, will be able to maintain their upward trend.


Armin Zöggeler/ITA

Tatjana Hüfner/GER

Olympic Champions Andreas and Wolfgang Linger/AUT