Olympic preview team relay: German quartet are hot favorites again
PyeongChang (RWH) The team relay of the International Luge Federation (FIL) made a glittering Olympic debut on February 13, 2014. VIP guests looked on eagerly as the new discipline got underway in the Sanki Sliding Center in the mountains above Sochi. Dr Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Prince Albert II of Monaco were on hand to witness the historic moment.
And they certainly were not disappointed. Much to the delight of FIL President Josef Fendt, the complex technology of the touch pad in the finishing zone, and the opening of the start gate with continuous timing, all worked perfectly. The German quartet featuring Natalie Geisenberger, Felix Loch and Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt ultimately won gold.
The Germans are also the hot favorites ahead of the second edition of the Olympic team relay. Head coach Norbert Loch’s protégés are unbeaten in the FIL World Championships. The German team won the overall classification in the Viessmann Team Relay World Cup presented by BMW for the eighth time in eight years during the Olympic winter season, to take their total number of victories to 36. The German relay team’s only vulnerability has been at four FIL European Championships. Latvia’s relay specialists won in 2010 and 2012, and Russia edged ahead on their secret home track in Sigulda in 2014 and 2018.