Felix Loch mistake opens the door for Wolfgang Kindl win
New Year but same result for world champion Wolfgang Kindl as he clinched yet another World Cup win, although he was helped by a mistake by rival Felix Loch.
Wolfgang Kindl of Austria reacts after his second run of the Men's Luge competition during the third day of the FIL World Championships at Olympiabobbahn Igls on January 29, 2017 in Innsbruck, Austria.
It had looked like Olympic champion Loch would take the honours though after he held the lead on the first run of his home track.
But a rare mistake on the lower section dropped him out of contention and all the way down to 11th in the final classification.
Felix Loch of Germany reacts after his second run of the Men's Luge competition during the third day of the FIL World Championships at Olympiabobbahn Igls on January 29, 2017 in Innsbruck, Austria
Image credit: Getty Images
European champion Semen Pavlichenko also suffered a similar fate, dropping from third to 16th.
But Kindl's consistency across his two runs saw him post the fastest overall time, 0.029 seconds ahead of compatriot Armin Frauscher.
Johannes Ludwig was third to achieve the internal Olympic standard required by the German Olympic Sports Confederation, meaning he will compete at his third Games after finishing fifth in 2010 and fourth in 2014.
Loch continues to lead the World Cup standings on 537 points, with Kindl moving onto 429 ahead of Pavlichenko on 411.
"I've started the New Year where I left off at the end of last year," said Kindl. "The win in Lake Placid gave me a real boost, and I'm now on top of the health issues that were affecting me at the start of the season.
But to be honest, I wouldn't have beaten Felix here today if he hadn't made a mistake."