On Sunday, Elīna Ieva Vītola, the young sled driver of Latvia, triumphed on the St. Moritz track in the main race of the last, ninth stage of the World Cup season, winning her first victory in her career.
20-year-old Vītola, for whom this is the first full season in the World Cup, has never climbed the podium before. Meanwhile, after winning the first race, Kendija Aparjode settled for the sixth position, Elīza Tīruma took the ninth place, but Ulla Zirne was in the 20th position.
Vītola made two stable races, the first with the fifth result and the second with the third. Second place winner Jūlija Taubica from Germany lost 0.252 seconds to her, but third place winner Natalija Māga from Switzerland was 0.279 seconds slower. Next were two more German women Dajana Eitbergere and Šejenne Rozentāla, but the first six was finished by Aparjode, for whom Vītola lost 0.502 seconds. Aparjode was the most successful in the first race and was convincingly the best, but in the second race she had to settle for the 14th result, which dropped to the sixth place.
Tīrumai had the tenth and eighth result in the races, as well as a deficit of 0.896 seconds against Vītols. After failing in the start of the first race, Peas was 25th and ahead of only one competitor, but in the second race the Latvian showed the fifth result, which allowed him to rise to the 20th place with a result of 2,739 seconds worse than Vītola.
The course of the competition was greatly affected by the snowstorm, but most athletes supported the continuation of the match after the first race. 28 athletes applied for the stage, but the hotel of the Ukrainian delegation was vacated and the representatives of this country did not start.
The World Cup with a total score of 995 Natalia Gaizenberger, the German, who took the 13th position on Sunday, won the second place, Taubica took the second place with 976 points, and Eitberger took the third place with 698 points. Field with 525 points ended the season in sixth place, Aparjode was ninth with 447 points, Zirne was given 17th position with 254 points, Vītola was 22nd with 180 points, but Sigita Bērziņa scored 91 points and took 34th place.
Pea and Field places in the main competitions had already been guaranteed in advance, but Aparjode and Vītola reached them through the Nations Cup or qualification. Aparjode won the second place in the Nations Cup on Friday, but immediately after her finished Vītols.
This season one bronze medal is for both Tīruma and Aparjodei. The third place in the field was won in Winterberg, and Aparjode – in Oberhof. The highest achievement for Peas this season is the seventh place in the World Cup stage in Sigulda, which was also the European Championship. Vītola was previously the highest in Sigulda, where he took the fifth place.
In the last stage, Tīruma did best, which was in the 13th place, but Aparjode was behind her. Vītola finished in 16th position at this stage, but Zirne was two places lower. Last weekend, Aparjode took eighth place in the world championship, followed by Tīruma, while Zirne showed the 13th best result. Vītola took the 16th place.
The team relay is planned for the end of the season, which will start at 14.20 and ten teams will take part in it.
It has already been reported that the two-man crew Mārtiņš Bots / Roberts Plūme also celebrated their first victory in their career this weekend.
The last time the World Cup stage on this track took place was more than nine years ago – in January 2012. 133 sleigh riders from 21 countries have applied for the last World Cup, of which 44 are women, 39 are men and 25 are double crews. The World Cup season takes place only in Europe.
The 2020/2021 World Luge Season season ended on Sunday with a team relay in St. Moritz
In turn, in the pair competitions, without completing the competition of the last, ninth, stage of the season, Latvia has secured the third place in the overall rating.
The relay started with the US national team going to the track, but, due to heavy snowfall, the timekeeper did not start, the two started their journey when Takers West was still had not finished and hit the plate. After a short technical break, the Romanian team went on the track, which could not be found in the official online protocol of the competition. After the withdrawal of the Romanians, it was decided to stop the competition altogether.
Latvia had to be represented in this competition by Elīna Ieva Vītola, Artūrs Dārznieks and Mārtiņš Bots / Roberts Plum. The previous stage of the World Cup in the relay took place in the beginning of January in Sigulda, where brothers Juris and Andris Šici, Elīza Tīruma and Dārznieks won silver. At the beginning of the season, brothers Šici, Kendija Aparjode and her brother Kristers Aparjods won the third place, but twice more the Latvian team was immediately behind the leading three.
The Germans were the first in the overall World Cup standings with 415 points, Russia scored 40 points less, while Latvia took the third place with 330 points. Austria was five points behind and in fourth place. It has already been reported that Vītola and Bots / Plūme celebrated their first victories in their careers at this stage.
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