Sigulda (RWH) Russia’s Semen Pavlichenko has upstaged Olympic Champion Felix Loch of Germany, and is the new World Champion in the men’s singles. At the 45th World Championships organised by the International Luge Federation (FIL) in the Latvian town of Sigulda, Pavlichenko, who came fifth at the Sochi Olympics, collected the Russian national team’s first ever World Championship gold medal. The last gold for the former Soviet Union was won by Sergei Danilin in Hammarstrand (SWE) in 1981. Four-times World Champion Felix Loch, who also has three Olympic gold medals to his name (men’s singles in 2010 and 2014 and team relay in 2014), took silver, his second after the one won in 2011. Third place went to Wolfgang Kindl, who won the first medal for Austria in the men’s event since 2009, when Daniel Pfister collected bronze in Lake Placid (USA). Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller was in second after the first run, but a crash in the second heat left him completely out of the running, and he ended the race in thirteenth. Quotes Semen Pavlichenko (RUS / fifth at the 2014 Olympics) “My preparations were aimed solely at the World Championships, and that’s why I didn’t compete in all of the World Cups. I dedicate this gold medal to my new-born son. My thanks go out to my wife, my coaches and everyone else who helped make this happen.” Felix Loch (GER / 2010 and 2014 Olympic Champion, four-times World Champion) “I’m also happy with silver, particularly on such a difficult track as the one here in Sigulda. That’s what our sport is all about, and I did my best. But Semen was better, and had an amazing race.” Wolfgang Kindl (AUT / 2008 Junior World Champion) “I’m overwhelmed. I really wasn’t expecting this. The conditions were particularly difficult because of the wind.”

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