German team captures gold in luge doubles

Rzhanaya Polyana, Russia ( - The German team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won the gold medal on Wednesday in the luge doubles competition.

The Germans, who broke a track record at the Sanki Sliding Center with a time of 49.373 seconds in their first run, finished with a total overall time of 1:38.933 to edge out Austrian brothers, Andreas and Wolfgang Linger, who were vying for their third consecutive Olympic luge doubles title.

Wendl and Arlt had won six World Cup doubles races this season and finished second in the two others.

The Lingers, who had also set a track record with their first run before being outdone by the Germans, were just over a half second behind the leaders. The Latvian team of Andris Sics and Juris Sics claimed the bronze with a total time of 1:39.790.

Tristan Walker and Justin Snith of Canada were fourth at 1:39.840.

The top U.S. team was Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman, who finished in 11th place, 2.012 seconds behind the leaders. Also, Americans Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall were 14th with a total time of 1:41.703.

Wednesday, of course, marked the four-year anniversary of the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was killed in a horrifying training crash just hours before the start of the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Games.