Eggert, Benecken win doubles, Eitberger takes women's race as Germany dominates WCup opener

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IGLS, Austria — Germany dominated the opening day of the luge World Cup season Saturday, winning both the men's doubles and the women's competition.

In difficult conditions due to snowfall, defending World Cup overall champions Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken led both runs to win in an aggregate time of 1 minute, 19.381 seconds. They also won the season-opener last year.

Austrian pair Peter Penz and Georg Fischler trailed by 0.111 in second, while Olympic champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, who were second after the opening run, came 0.455 behind to make it a German 1-3 finish.

Earlier, Dajana Eitberger earned her first World Cup victory, leading Natalie Geisenberger for a German 1-2 finish. Eitberger posted the fastest time in both runs to finish in 1 minute, 19.795 seconds and beat Olympic and world champion Geisenberger by 0.214.

Geisenberger, who is the three-time defending overall champion, improved from fourth place after a disappointing opening run.

Alex Gough of Canada finished 0.222 behind in third, with another German luger, Tatjana Huefner, 0.092 further back in fourth.

Americans Summer Britcher, Emily Sweeney and Erin Hamlin came 5-6-7 after Hamlin and Sweeney finished the opening run in second and third, respectively.

The men's race and a relay competition are scheduled for Sunday.

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