On 24 February 2013, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee brought to an end the last in the series of this season’s international Test Events at the Sliding Center "Sanki". More than 60 members of staff from Sochi 2014 welcomed competitors and guests to the Luge World Cup final stage, in conjunction with the International Luge Federation (FIL) and the national sports federations.
The final stage of the Luge World Cup was the fourth Sochi 2014 Test Event to be held at the Sliding Center "Sanki" in the current winter season. Over 130 luge riders from 29 different countries had gathered in Sochi for the 2012/13 World Cup and to test out the venue for the 2014 Olympic competitions in luge, bobsleigh and skeleton.
The competition program for the Test Event began with the Nations Cup, an extra qualifying stage for the main days of competition. In the main runs that counted for the World Cup rankings, it was Germany who dominated the competitions.
In the women’s event, the German trio of Tatjana Hüfner, Natalie Geisenberger and Anke Wischnewski triumphed, taking all three places on the winners' podium and claiming the top three placings in the World Cup (victory in the overall rankings went to Geisenberger).
In the men's doubles, the winners were Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany, who duly won the World Cup as a result of their performance. The extremely intense competition in the men’s singles event ended in victory for Andi Langenhan of Germany, who finished just 0,004s ahead of Albert Demchenko. The overall victor in the World Cup was another German – the 2010 Olympic champion Felix Loch.
The last event in the competition program in Sochi was the relay, in which the German team took the first place yet again, thereby securing the World Cup. Second to cross the finish-line was the team representing the host nation (Tatiana Ivanova, Albert Demchenko, Vladislav Yuzhakov / Vladimir Makhnutin), which ended up fifth in the overall World Cup rankings.
The Test Events at the Sliding Center "Sanki" were supported by Ingosstrakh, the Sochi 2014 Partner.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee:
"The final stage of the Luge World Cup has drawn the international season of Test Events to a close at the Sliding Center "Sanki". We have delivered a top-class event, shown the quality of the venue and found favor among the international lugers as the Olympic track lived up to expectations."
Josef Fendt, President of the International Luge Federation (FIL):
"On behalf of the International Luge Federation, I would like to say that we are very pleased with the way this sports event was held, and with the condition of the luge and bobsleigh track. We are delighted to have seen such an interesting, fast-paced and above all safe track here, with the 2014 Olympic Games just around the corner."
Tatjana Hüfner (Germany), double winner of the Luge World Cup final stage: "I like the track, it’s got its own rhythm, and you’ve got to feel it. I was trying to find this rhythm at training, and I’ve finally managed to find it which is really important for me."
Tobias Arlt (Germany), winner of the Luge World Cup final stage in the men’s doubles: "It’s an Olympic track, so we had enough motivation. We had a chance to try the equipment, make adjustments and study the track. We’ve done our best here, therefore we have won."
Andi Langenhan (Germany), winner of the Luge World Cup final stage in the men’s singles: "In general, the track is great, it’s not that fast but safe. You need to take a special approach to do well here."
Albert Demchenko (Russia), double silver medalist of the Luge World Cup final stage: "Second place is not a bad way to finish the season, although I would have liked to have done even better. We've still got the Russian Cup and Russian championship to look forward to, and those competitions will give us a chance to try out our new equipment, and put a new luge through its paces on a new track."
David Möller (Germany), bronze medalist of the Luge World Cup final stage in the men’s singles: "It’s a very nice track, technical and fast. It was surprising for me that all results were very close. It shows that it will be very exciting during Olympics because just one mistake can move you from top to 10th or 15th place."
Armin Zöggeler (Italy), two-time Olympic champion: "The track is very nice and difficult. It will be interesting to come back here next year."
Andrew Sherk (USA): "The track here is awesome. It’s not that hard but it’s really fun and it still feels fast."
Alexandra Rodionovа (Russia): "The track here is in good condition, and the ice is nice and quick. I think I put in a season's best performance and a season's best time, so I'm happy with that. I adore Sochi, and I've got a lot of friends here. I love coming here, plus the track is outstanding."
Arianne Jones (Canada): "I think it’s a really great track, I like sliding here a lot. I think they’ve done a great job. It’s a relatively easy track to make it down but it’ll be a bit more difficult to make it down quickly, that’s what everyone is working towards."
Notes to the Editor
Sliding Center "Sanki"
in Sochi is the only track in the world that has three negative slopes. There are no more than 20 tracks of this kind throughout the world. The Olympic track winds its way across the northern slope of the Aibga Ridge, protected from the sun's rays, in the village of Krasnaya Polyana. The overall length of the track is 1814 meters, 314 meters of which is taken up by the braking area. The maximum speed is about 135 km/h. The track replicates the existing relief in the local area to the greatest possible extent, with its highest point being located at 836 meters above sea level and its lowest point at 704 meters. The athletes' security is ensured by a radius of turns and three negative slopes, which slow them down.