Luger Roman Repilov became the first athlete from Russia to win a world championship under a ban on the nation’s flag, name and anthem.
Repilov repeated as world men’s singles champion, overtaking two-time Olympic champion Felix Loch of Germany at Loch’s home track in Königssee on Saturday.
Repilov, who trailed by .002 of a second after the first run, posted the fastest second run to prevail by .062 over Loch, who won all eight World Cup singles events so far in a bounce-back season.
Austrian David Gleirscher, the surprise 2018 Olympic champion, took bronze for his first world championships singles medal.
Chris Mazdzer, the surprise 2018 Olympic silver medalist, was the top American in 10th place, his best worlds or World Cup singles finish since Dec. 1, 2019.
In December, the Court of Arbitration for Sport partially upheld a World Anti-Doping Agency punishment forcing Russian athletes to compete as neutrals at world championships and the Olympics for the next two years.
The blanket ruling was as a result of the nation’s doping violations, though Repilov individually is not known to have ever violated any rules.
So Repilov competed not for Russia, but for the Russian Luge Federation. He wore a blue Bosco body suit, and a Russian flag was not clearly visible.
The Russian anthem was not played in the victory ceremony, but rather the track announcer said that music that was playing was a luge federation anthem. A screen displayed the flags of Germany and Austria and a white flag with an outline of a luger in blue in the middle.
Earlier Saturday, Germans Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won a record-breaking fourth consecutive doubles world title, beating countrymen and two-time Olympic champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt by .155.
Eggert and Benecken, bronze medalists in PyeongChang, have been the stronger German team on the World Cup, winning the previous four season titles and ranking second this season behind Austrians Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller, who were sixth on Saturday.
Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 16th.
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