Verena Hofer, Arturs Darznieks, and Kashkin/Korshunov the fastest at the Nations Cup in St. Moritz
St. Moritz (FIL) Verena Hofer (ITA), Arturs Darznieks (LAT) and the doubles Vsevolod Kashkin / Konstantin Korshunov (RUS) won the final of the FIL Nations Cup 2021/22 on Friday, January 21, 2022 at the Olympic Bob Run St. Moritz - Celerina.
On the only natural ice track in the World Cup circuit, 20-year-old Verena Hofer from Italy won in 54.419 seconds in bright sunshine and sub-zero temperatures, ahead of 25-year-old Natalie Maag from Switzerland (0.128 seconds back) and 28-year-old Emily Sweeney from the USA (+0.150 sec.).
The overall ranking of the Nations Cup 2021/22, which consisted of nine races, was won by Nina Zöggeler from South Tyrol. Zöggeler was sixth in the final race in St. Moritz.
In the Nations Cup of the doubles, Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov were the fastest in 53.981 seconds. The two Russians took second place in the overall ranking of the Nations Cup, although they only competed in six of nine races. The young Austrians Juri Gatt and Ricardo Schöpf finished second in the final FIL Nations Cup in St. Moritz (+0.056) ahead of Wojciech Chmielewski with Jakub Kowalewski from Poland (+0.152).
Overall winners in the Nations Cup doubles were Tristan Walker and Justin Snith from Calgary. The two Canadians had competed in seven of nine races, but not in St. Moritz because they are currently in the seeded group for the World Cup.
In the Men's singles, Arturs Darznieks was the fastest for the third time this season in 1:05.391 minutes. The Latvian won from the top start, which was built especially for the lugers. The 28-year-old soldier from Sigulda was beaming under his FFP2 mask: "I am very happy about the victory. The natural ice track is very special. The transitions between the curves are very smooth, the track is especially smooth and seems to be built better every year. I really enjoy racing here and I'm looking forward to the World Cup tomorrow. Anything is possible, anything can happen and I hope I can show two good runs and place far in front." Second behind Darznieks was South Tyrolean Leon Felderer (+0.016) ahead of USA's Chris Mazdzer (0.205 back).
The overall Nations Cup ranking was won by Chris Eissler from Germany, who did not compete in St. Moritz. Eissler is already qualified for the World Cup in the seeded group.
Comeback Mateusz Sochowicz after accident on Olympic track in China
Olympic athlete Mateusz Sochowicz was greeted at the finish line at the Nations Cup in St. Moritz with great applause from all nations present. 14 days from the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, the Pole celebrated his comeback in the ice track. Sochowicz finished tenth (0.849 sec. back) and qualified for the European Championships and the World Cup Final on Saturday, 22 January.
On 8 November 2021, Mateusz Sochowicz had a serious accident through no fault of his own during training on the Olympic track at the Yanqing National Sliding Center (CHN) and was taken to hospital. After an operation on the kneecap of his left leg, Mateusz Sochowicz had to stay at the university hospital in Yanqing for another week. He was finally flown to Poland on Monday, 15 November 2021. The 25-year-old 2018 Olympian was treated in a rehabilitation centre in Poznan (POL) from then on.
The athletes qualified for the finals of the EBERSPÄCHER World Cup on Saturday and Sunday each week via the Nations Cup, which was always run in one heat on Friday mornings. The fastest twelve female athletes and doubles as well as the fastest 15 men of the last three World Cup races were seeded in each case and did not have to qualify via the Nations Cup. For them, there was always the seeded training on Friday afternoon as the last run before the World Cup. On Friday, 5 February, this last training run for the best lugers will take place on the Olympic Bob Run from St. Moritz to Celerina starting at 1 pm.
Detailed results and further information on the 9th EBERSPÄCHER Luge World Cup in St. Moritz, the Nations Cup and the training runs can be found at the following link: https://www.fil-luge.org/de/ergebnisse/eberspaecher-weltcup-16