Fischnaller wins luge World Cup opener as Loch is disqualified; Germany takes team relay

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IGLS, Austria — Italian luger Dominik Fischnaller won the season-opening World Cup race Sunday after first-run leader Felix Loch was disqualified for an equipment irregularity, while Germany dominated the team relay.

Fischnaller finished in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 40.687 seconds to edge Armin Frauscher of Austria by 0.006 seconds. Another Austrian, Wolfgang Kindl, came 0.032 back in third.

World champion Semen Pavlichenko of Russia trailed Fischnaller by 0.180 and shared eighth with Chris Mazdzer of the United States.

Three-time Olympic luge champion Loch was disqualified from the competition because his sled exceeded the maximum allowed weight during a post-run control by officials.

Winner of the overall World Cup for the past four seasons, Loch led Fischnaller by 0.062 after the first run. A random generator then chose Loch as one of the athletes who had to have his equipment checked.

Loch has been dominating men's luge for years, winning 38 World Cup races, nine world titles, and Olympic gold in the men's race in 2010 and the men's and team event in 2014.

The German team of Dajana Eitberger, Andi Langenhan, Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken comfortably won the concluding team relay.

They finished in an aggregate time of 2 minutes, 9.035 seconds to defeat Latvia by 0.393. Italy was 0.764 behind in third.

Russia, which finished runner-up to Germany in the team relay standings last season, failed to finish. In the men's doubles portion, Vladislav Yuzhakov and Vladimir Prokhorov fell off their sled after hitting a side wall but were unhurt.

Germany won three of the four events this opening weekend after Eitberger took the women's race and Eggert and Benecken triumphed in the men's doubles on Saturday.

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