Germany’s “Tobis” top Austrian brothers for doubles luge gold

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Two lugers with the same first name beat two lugers with the same last name for the doubles’ luge gold medal today at Sanki Sliding Center.

World Cup champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany, often referred to as “The Tobis,” became the first doubles team from their country to win gold since Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch did it in 2002.

Coming away with silver were the brothers Linger, Andreas and Wolfgang, who had come into Sochi as the two-time defending Olympic champions.

Wendl and Arlt posted a time of 49.650 seconds on their second and final run to cap off the win over the Austrian siblings by .522 of a second on aggregate time.

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Another set of brothers, Andris and Juris Sics of Latvia, followed up their 2010 silver with a bronze today; overall, they were .857 of a second behind Wendl and Arlt.

The Americans were led by Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman, who finished 11th at just over two seconds back of the winners. A second U.S. duo, Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall, was 14th.

The luge competition for the Sochi Olympics ends tomorrow with the debut of the team relay competition, in which a woman, a man, and a doubles team race one after the other from the same start point.

The riders of both the women’s and men’s sled must hit an overhead touch pad to release the starting gate for the next leg. Timing is continuous, and the nation with the lowest time after the third sled wins.

LUGE – DOUBLES
1. Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt (GER), 1:38:933
2. Andreas Linger/Wolfgang Linger (AUT), 1:39.455
3. Andris Sics/Juris Sics (LAT), 1:39.790

11. Christian Niccum/Jayson Terdiman (USA), 1:40.945
14. Matthew Mortensen/Preston Griffall (USA), 1:41.703