Antonia Pietschmann, Leger, Storch/Patz and Mueller/Haugsjaa Junior World Champions

JWM 2024 Lillehammer, Damen

Lillehammer (FIL/19. Feb. 2024) The 39th FIL Junior World Championships (JWC) took place last weekend in Hunderfossen, Norway, on the Olympic track for Lillehammer 1994, in sub-zero temperatures and with meters of snow.

Right at the start of the competitions, in the first run on Friday, the three fastest women stayed under the track record of 47.590. In the end, the record of the new Junior World Champion Antonia Pietschmann from Germany stood at 47.325 seconds, from the women's start. "That is an amazing performance. Pietschmann is still a Junior A luger," said FIL Director Maria-Luise Rainer.

JWM 2024 Lillehammer, Doppel

The winner of the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games Antonia Pietschmann also claimed the title of 2024 Junior World Champion. The young athlete from RC Ilmenau won by two tenths of a second ahead of second-placed Canadian Embyr-Lee Susko. Third place went to Anka Jänicke (Germany).

"Lillehammer is my second favorite track after Oberhof. We set track records on almost every run in training," reported Pietschman, who was delighted with the perfect luge conditions in Norway. "The temperatures below zero were very good. I'm very happy about the track record. That's a great thing for me. I had a lot of fun," said the new Junior World Champion.

JWM 2024 Lillehammer, Marco Leger

Marco Leger, also from Germany, secured the JWM title for the young men. The young Bavarian won by just under three hundredths of a second ahead of Matthew Greiner from Park City in the USA. With the best start time in the first run and two third-place finishes, Latvia’s Kaspars Rinks came third, 16 hundredths of a second behind winner Leger.

The title of Junior World Champion in the women's doubles also went to Germany with Elisa-Marie Storch and Pauline Patz. The young women from Thuringia won with the best start and run times ahead of Latvia's Viktorija Ziedina/Selina Zvilna. Storch/Patz had already gained experience in the EBERSPAECHER World Cup and at the 2024 FIL World Championships in Altenberg. The bronze medal went to Marie Riedl and Nina Lerch (+1,838), who finished also third at the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

JWM 2024 Lillehammer, Herren Doppel

Marcus Mueller and Ansel Haugsjaa won their first Junior World Championship title in the men's doubles. The young US-Americans left the fast doubles from Italy with Philipp Brunner/Manuel Weissensteiner (+0.068 sec.) and Latvia with Raimonds Baltgalvis/Vitalijs Jegorovs (+0.331) behind them. This was the first Junior World Championship title for a US sled since Emily Sweeney won the title in 2013. The Mueller/Haugsjaa duo have already won two of the four Junior World Cups they have competed in this season, finishing second in the other races. "It feels great," said Mueller after the win. "I'm super happy with the result. And I'm just happy that we took the title." "It feels great," agreed Haugsjaa. "It's something we've worked hard for, especially this season. It's a great achievement for us."

JWM 2024 Lillehammer, Damen Doppel

At the end of the World Junior Championships, the medals were awarded in the team relay. Germany secured the gold medal with Antonia Pietschmann, Marco Leger and the doubles team of Kunze/Trippner, ahead of the USA team with Emma Erickson, Matthew Greiner and Mueller/Haugsjaa. The Austrian team of Barbara Allmaier, Noah Kallan and Johannes Scharnagl/Moritz Schiegl finished in bronze.

"The Olympic track in Lillehammer was in perfect condition for the Junior World Championships. We saw some great winter sports in snow and sub-zero temperatures. The track workers here prepared an ice that allowed the juniors to set track records every day. The ice was in top condition from the first day of training. I would like to thank all the helpers and congratulate the young athletes on their great performances," said FIL President Einars Fogelis, who made a point of attending the JWC in Norway.

Photos: Daniel Nordby, Olympiaparken