KÖNIGSSEE, Germany — Russia’s Roman Repilov won his second consecutive men’s luge world championship Saturday, overtaking World Cup champion Felix Loch in the second heat to successfully defend the title.
After claiming gold, Repilov removed his hat in preparation for the winner’s flag to be displayed and anthem to blare.
That was not the case.
Russian athletes can participate in the luge world championships, but only as neutral competitors and not officially representing their country because of the sanctions levied against that country for a doping scandal.
The flag displayed in Repilov’s honour was the International Luge Federation’s, which is a blue outline of a luge athlete on a sled with a white background.
The federation’s anthem was played as well.
Russian athletes winning medals at the Tokyo Olympics this summer or the Beijing Winter Games in 2022 will experience similar scenes with no Russian flag or Russian anthem.
Repilov had the fastest heat in the second and final run and prevailed by 0.062 seconds over Loch for a total time of one minute 37.810 seconds.
Reigning Olympic champion David Gleirscher of Austria was third. Reid Watts of Whistler, B.C., was 18th
In doubles, Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won their fourth consecutive world title — making them just the second sled to win that many in succession.
Margit Schumann of East Germany won four consecutive women’s world luge titles from 1973 through 1977.
World championships are not held in Olympic years.
Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany finished second, and Latvia’s Andris Sics and Juris Sics in third.
Calgary's Justin Snith and Tristan Snith of Cochrane, Alta., did not finish their second run.
The world championships end Sunday with the women’s race and team relay.
The international luge season ends next weekend with the World Cup finale in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30 2021.
The Canadian Press