Recap: Olympic Winter sports Saturday

Johannes Ludwig and Johannes Lamparter were just some of the stars that competed Saturday (15 January) as the Winter World Cup season continued across the globe. Relive all the action live on Olympics.com as the build-up to the Olympic Winter Games gathers pace. Beijing 2022 starts on 4 February 2022.

By Ockert de Villiers
Picture by Jan Hetfleisch

Johannes Ludwig and Johannes Lamparter were in action this Saturday (15 January) as the winter season continued with bobsleigh, Nordic combined, biathlon and luge.

Read on for the latest news and results from each competition as athletes continued with their quest to qualify for Beijing 2022.

Coady and Fitzsimons victorious in slopestyle at Laax Open

The Laax Open brought the Olympic qualifying window to an emphatic close, with some of the world’s best snowboarders chasing points or looking to remind national selectors of their abilities.

With just three weeks to go to the start of the Olympic Winter Games, the Laax Open also served as an important barometer of the top medal prospects ahead of the global showpiece.

Australia's Tess Coady claimed a second Snowboard World Cup gold medal of her career in the women's slopestyle with a best score of 86.18 points.

The world bronze medallist was the top rider on both her runs leading the charge on the first with a score of 79.60 points before raising the bar on her second.

Austrian star Anna Gasser had to be content with second place with a best score of 78.56 points, with Germany's Annika Morgan finishing third with 76.61 points.

The 17-year-old Murase Kokomo of Japan still leads the overall World Cup standings courtesy of her victory in the opening event in Calgary and third place in Mammoth Mountain.

In the men's competition, Sean Fitzsimons produced the goods when it mattered most. His victory possibly proved enough for the final spot on the United States slopestyle team for Beijing 2022.

The 21-year-old Fitzsimons earned a top score of 80.91 points for his career's best World Cup result to edge Sochi 2014 silver medallist Staale Sandbech of Norway into second place (80.43 points). US teenager Jake Canter bagged the bronze medal with a best score of 74.76 points.

READ MORE: Olympic snowboard at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Luge: Eggert and Benecken on a roll on home ice

German duo Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken raced to their 50th Luge World Cup double victory in style, setting two track records at home in Oberhof.

The victory sets the scene for a climactic World Cup finale in St Moritz with just 37 points separating the second-placed Eggert and Benecken from overall leaders Latvian brothers Andris and Juris Sics.

Eggert and Benecken were in hot form, setting track records on both their runs, clocking 41.331 and 41.320 seconds for a combined winning time of 1:22.651. They were 0.316s faster than Olympic champions and compatriots Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt in second place. Austria’s Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller rounded off the podium in third place.

READ MORE: Olympic luge at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Friedrich wins fifth overall World Cup title in the two-man bobsleigh

German phenom Francesco Friedrich’s raced to a seventh two-man bobsleigh victory at the World Cup finale in St Moritz to claim the overall season title.

The double Olympic champion clocked a track record on his first run with a time of 1:05.89 but played second fiddle to Canada’s Justin Kripps. Kripps improved on Friedrich’s time on the second run clocking 1:05.80 with his first-run time ultimately costing him the top spot.

Friedrich and brakeman Thorsten Margis were models of consistency improving on their first run by 0.02s for a combined time of 2:11.76.

Kripps finished second, 0.19s adrift with Germany’s Johannes Lochner finishing third with a time of 2:12.12

Friedrich suffered one rare defeat in Sigulda which had no effect on his lead on the overall IBSF World Cup standings. He earned his fifth overall World Cup title on 1,703 points with Kripps finishing second and Russia’s Rostislav Gaitiukevich in third place.

READ MORE: Olympic bobsleigh at Beijing 2022 - Top things to know

Nordic combined: Lamparter claims second World Cup win

World champion Johannes Lamparter of Austria claimed a second Nordic combined World Cup title of the season with a win in the Gundersen large hill/10km competition in Klingenthal, Germany.

Lamparter fought his way from third place after the ski jumping section of the competition with a leap of 142 m (143.6 points) into pole position on the cross-country leg.

Estonia’s Kristjan Ilves landed the best jump of 140m (145.8 points), which translated into a narrow one-second lead over Japan’s Ryota Yamamoto in second place.

Ilves, Yamamoto and Lamparter effectively led the cross-country skiing section from start to finish as they jockeyed for the top spot on the podium. The trio sprinted to the finish with the pace-setting Lamparter pipping Ilves by 0.3 seconds, with Yamamoto finishing 0.7s behind in third place.

READ MORE: Olympic Nordic combined at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Luge: Ludwig bags fifth World Cup win

Olympic bronze medallist Johannes Ludwig raced to his fifth gold medal of the season with a victory on home ice at the Luge World Cup in Oberhof, Germany. Ludwig spearheaded a German clean sweep of the podium, with Max Langenhan and Felix Loch finishing second and third. 

The win at the penultimate World Cup of the season was Ludwig’s second of 2022 – after winning in Winterberg on 1 January – which bodes well for his Olympic ambitions in the singles event. 

Ludwig clocked the fastest times on both his runs with 42.554 seconds and 42.515s for a combined winning time of 1:25.069. He was 0.304s faster than runner-up Langenhan and 0.316s than the third-placed Loch. The first top five finishers did not change positions from the first run. 

Ludwig tightened his lead on the overall World Cup standings on 837 points, with Austria’s Wolfgang Kindle trailing by 146 points in second place.

READ MORE: Olympic luge at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

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