Recap: Olympic Winter sports Sunday

Brittany Phelan, Francesco Friedrich and Natalie Geisenberger were just some of the stars that competed on Sunday, 19 December as the Winter World Cup season continued across the globe. Follow all the action live on as the build-up to next year's Olympic Winter Games gathers pace. Beijing 2022 starts on 4 February 2022.

Picture by Jan Hetfleisch

Brittany Phelan, Francesco Friedrich and Natalie Geisenberger were in action this Sunday (19 December) as the busy winter season continued with luge, curling, bobsleigh, biathlon, snowboard, ski jumping, and freestyle skiing.

Read on for a recap of Sunday's World Cup action as the globe's top athletes continued on their quest to qualify for Beijing 2022.

Riiber on a roll

Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber racked up an impressive 43rd World Cup victory to underscore his Nordic Combination supremacy at the World Cup in Ramsau, Austria.

Characteristically, Riiber took the lead after the ski jumping round with a leap of 92.5 metres which earned him 134.5 points. He started the cross-country section in first place, finishing in a time of 23:58.0 to claim his eighth World Cup victory of the season. Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger finished 15.3 seconds adrift in second place, with compatriot Eric Frenzel taking third place.

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

Excellent Oeberg wins double gold

Sweden's Elvira Oeberg secured double gold at the Biathlon World Cup in Annecy, France, after winning the women's 12.5km mass start title on Sunday. The day before, she won a maiden World Cup in the pursuit sharing a podium with her sister, Hanna, in third place.

Continuing on the form from the day before, Elvira Oeberg finished 10.7 seconds ahead of the second-placed Julia Simon of France. Kristina Reztsova of Russia had to be content with the bronze. Meanwhile, France's Emilien Jacquelin fought his way from fifth place after the first prone into first place to win the men's 15km mass start in a time of 35:54.8. Countryman Quentin Fillon Maillet claimed the second spot on the podium, with Tarjei Boe of Norway finishing third.

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

Six out of six for Friedrich

Francesco Friedrich remains as slippery as the track he slides on as the German extended his unbeaten run in the four-man bobsleigh at the World Cup on his home track in Altenberg.

The double Olympic champion claimed his sixth consecutive four-man bobsleigh title in the World Cup this season. The day before, he won his fourth in a row in the two-man bobsleigh.

On Sunday, Friedrich with Thorsten Margis, Alexander Schueller, and Martin Grothkopp won by 0.28 seconds ahead of the Canadian quartet led by Justin Kripps. The Russian team piloted by Rostislav Gaitiukevich finished in third place, 0.35s adrift of the German winners.

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

More gold for Dahlqvist

Sprint supremo Maja Dahlqvist and Jonna Sundling powered to victory in the women's team sprint finals at the Cross Country World Cup in Dresden, Germany. 

The Swedish duo also dominated the individual women's sprint the day before with Dahlqvist winning a fourth consecutive title and Sundling taking second place.

They continued their imperious form in the team sprint final where they finished a second ahead of the United States team of Jessie Diggins and Julia Kern. Slovenia's Eva Urevc and Anamarija Lampic claimed third place in a tight finish.

Norway was the top nation in the men's sprint team competition claiming the top-two steps on the podium. 

Thomas Helland Larsen and Even Northug took the spoils beating compatriots Haavard Solaas Taugboel and Sindre Bjoernestad Skar into second place. Russia's Gleb Retivykh and Alexander Bolshunov crossed the finish in third place.

READ MORE: Olympic cross-country skiing at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Austrian double in men's luge sprint

Wolfgang Kindl led an Austrian top-two podium in the men’s luge at the Sprint World Cup on home ice in Innsbruck.

Kindl posted the fastest time of 32.390 seconds for the victory adding to the silver medal he won in the luge singles the day before. Compatriot Jonas Mueller posted the second-fastest time of 32.430 s in the sprint event for the silver medal. Germany’s Johannes Ludwig, the winner of the luge singles from Saturday, was the third-fastest man on the track to earn him the third-place position. The German duo of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the men’s sprint doubles, clocking 29.905s, with Latvian siblings Andris and Juris Sics finishing second. Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller flew the Austrian flag bagging the bronze medal.

In the women’s sprint event, Madeleine Egle claimed one for the home nation, winning with a time of 29.992s. Luge singles winner Taubitz Julia of Germany finished in second place, 0.050s slower than Egle with compatriot Anna Berreiter taking third place. Egle added to the bronze she won in the singles event.

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

Regez claims men’s ski cross gold

Swiss skier Ryan Regez produced his first victory of the season, winning the men’s ski cross at the Freestyle World Cup in Innichen, Italy. 

Regez came into this World Cup with a best result of 13th place this season but was on fire on the day, winning every round to make it into the final for a shot at the podium. He won the big final beating Frenchman Bastien Midol and Canada’s Reece Howden into second and third place. 

Sandra Naeslund continued her dream campaign, clinching her fourth World Cup gold of the season with Swiss ace Fanny Smith finishing as runner-up in the women’s big final. Olympic silver medallist, Brittany Phelan of Canada, finished the race in third place. 

*READ MORE: *Olympic freestyle skiing at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Kalicki slides into first place

Kim Kalicki won her first two-women bobsleigh World Cup title of the season, sharing the podium with Olympic champion Maria Jamanka for a German one-two in Altenberg, Germany.

The world silver medallist and Olympic champion Lisa Bukwitz, at the breaks, posted the fastest times on both runs for a combined winning time of 1:54.49. Jamanka finished second, 0.22s slower than her compatriots. Kaillie Humphries of the United States rounded out the podium in third place.

The Germans dominate the top three on the overall World Cup standings, led by Laura Nolte in the first place, with Kalicki and Jamanka in second and third, respectively.

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

Taubitz wins third World Cup

Julia Taubitz claimed her third women’s singles Luge World Cup victory of the season to cement her place at the top of the overall rankings. 

She shared the podium in the Austrian Alps with fellow German and four-time luge Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger with her first top-three finish of the season. Madeleine Egle earned her third podium place of the season, claiming silver on home ice. 

Geisenberger produced a superb second run moving from fourth place into third. 

The day belonged to the on-form Taubitz, who clocked a track record of 39.701 seconds, improving on the previous best she set in Innsbruck. Her combined time of 1:19.546 was 0.012s faster than Egle. 

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


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