Austria sweeps World Cup luge, Emily Sweeney wins silver

IGLS, Austria -- Madeleine Egle won a women's luge World Cup race Saturday to lead the Austrians' dominant season-opening showing on home ice, while Emily Sweeney of the U.S. finished second in the women's race to match her best finish on the circuit in five years.

Austria also took golds in men's doubles and the first-ever World Cup running of a women's doubles race. The Austrians grabbed five of the day's nine medals.

Egle had the fastest time in both women's singles heats and prevailed in 1 minute, 19.188 seconds. Sweeney was second in 1:19.404 and Germany's Julia Taubitz was third in 1:19.436.

It was Sweeney's best World Cup finish since winning a sprint race at Winterberg, Germany, in November 2017. Ashley Farquharson was seventh, Summer Britcher was ninth and Brittney Arndt was 19th for the U.S. women.

Sweeney and Britcher - competing as a doubles team for the first time - finished fifth in the inaugural World Cup women's doubles race to open the day.

Selina Egle and Lara Kipp of Austria were the winners in 1:20.019, with Germany's Jessica Degenhardt and Cheyenne Rosenthal (1:20.195) second and the Italian sled of Andrea Vötter and Marion Oberhofer took third (1:20.252).

Britcher and Sweeney finished in 1:20.550, with two other U.S. sleds - Maya Chan and Reannyn Weiler (1:20.788, 7th) and Chevonne Forgan and Sophia Kirkby (1:21.265, 8th) - in the top eight of the women's doubles event.

In the men's doubles race, Juri Gatt and Riccardo Schöpf pulled off an upset win for their first World Cup medal and to lead a 1-2-3 sweep for Austrian sleds in that event. They finished in 1:18.915, just ahead of Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller (1:18.994) and Yannick Müller and Armin Frauscher (1:18.998).

Zack Digregorio and Sean Hollander were eighth for the U.S., while Dana Kellogg and Duncan Segger were 17th.