Monday, 16th January
A Weekend of Luge
Latvia's capital city Riga is often in the spotlight as a favourite for major international sports events. So too on occasions is Sigulda, a town in the Vidzeme region, 53 kilometres from Riga. Over the weekend the best international experts in Luge descended on Sigulda for the next round of the International Luge Federation World Cup. It was Germany's day as Anna Berreiter and Max Langenhan claimed the single seater titles. Italy's Andrea Voetter and Marion Oberhofer took the women's doubles, with the men's doubles going to Germany's Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt. The Team Relay gold now belongs to the hosts. Bludenz in Austria hosted the future stars of Luge at the FIL Junior Luge World Championships. The Ukraine's Yulliana Tunytska and Latvia's Kaspars Links are the single seater world champions. Latvia continued their great form by winning the women's and men's doubles titles, with the team competition going to Germany.
One of the world's toughest offroad motor racing events completed on Sunday in the city of Damman, Saudi Arabia. Of the many categories in the Dakar Rally 2023, Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah and French co-driver Mathieu Baumel stood atop the victor's podium for the second consecutive year. It was Al-Attiyah fifth win and Baumel's fourth, with only France's Stéphane Peterhansel still holding the record with eight Dakar victories. Full results can be found here. https://www.dakar.com/en/rankings
Ramau in Austria hosted Round 1 of the Ski Orienteering World Cup earlier last week. The Middle titles went to Sweden's Linda Lindkvist and Finland's Aapo Viippola. Lindkvist did it again in the Sprint category, while the men's title went to Norway's Bjornar Kvale. Finally, capping a fantastic competition, Lindkvist claimed the Pursuit, with Norway's Jorgen Baklid taking the men's gold. England's Debbie Lines is the new 2023 Associated Croquet World Champion, played in Christchurch, New Zealand.
It was again a full schedule of the International Ski & Snowboard Federation World Cups. We start in Flachau in Austria where Slovakia's Petra Vlhova won the Women's Slalom. Not too far from there, Bad Gastein hosted Snowboard Parallel Slalom, with titles going to local star Daniela Ulbing and Italy's Maurizio Bormolini. Austria claimed the team title. Remaining in Austria, Snowboard Big Air featured in Kreischberg. Again the title went to a local star Anna Gasser, with Japan's Taiga Hasegawa winning the men's gold. Germany's Carolin Langenhorst and Poland's Oskar Kwiatkowski winning Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom in Scuol, Switzerland.
Further Alpine World Cups featured in Wengen in Switzerland and St. Anton in Austria. The men competed at Wengen with Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde winning Super G and Downhill, while Slalom went to compatriot Henrik Kristoffersen. In St. Anton, Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behramin won the Super G. There were two Ski Jumping World Cup events. Austria's Eva Pinkelnig won in Zao, Japain, with the team title also claimed by Austria. The men competed at Zakopane in Poland. Halvor Egner Granerud of Norway claimed gold, with the team event won by Austria.
Winterberg and Altenberg in Germany hosted all the week's best Skeleton and Bobsleigh competitions. Winterberg hosted the Junior World Championships and Junior World Championships U23. Full results are available here: https://www.ibsf.org/en/races-results. Altenberg hosted the next IBSF World Cup. Skeleton titles went to Germany's Tina Hermann and Britain's Matt Weston. USA's Kaillie Humphries won the Women's Monobob, Germany's Johannes Lochner and Lisa Buckwitz steered their teams to the 2-man and 2-woman Bobsleigh titles, while Britain's Brad Hall produced a surprise result to lead the 4-man Bobsleigh to victory.
Michael Urban, Veronika Windisch, and Linus Ollikainen opened the new ATSX Ice Cross World Championship season in Winterleiten in style on Saturday. New Zealand won the Sail GP in Singapore, overcoming a four-point pre-event penalty. Australia still lead the rankings by nine points over New Zealand with only three rounds remaining of Season 3.
The IBU Biathlon World Cup stopped at Ruhpolding over the weekend. Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe and Italy's Lisa Vittozzi took the Individual gold. Norway won both the men's and women's Relay. Boe continued his incredible form by winning the Mass Start, while France's Julia Simon won the women's Mass Start.
Avalanche Andretti's Jake Dennis won the opening round in Mexico City of the FIA Formula E World Championship 2023. Brazil's Hugo Calderano and China's Qian Tianyi won the singles' titles of the World Table Tennis Contender Tournament in Durban, South Africa. It was again the Netherlands who dominated the medals at the ISU European Short Track Championships 2023 in Gdansk, Poland.
The UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup was hosted in Cheongsong, South Korea. Local star Heeyong Park and Switzerland's Petra Klingler won Lead gold, with Speed titles going to Iran's Mohsen Beheshti and South Korea's Lee Sughee. Egypt's World No.1-to-be, Mostafa Asal won the Houston Open, the next Professional Squash Association World Tour event. Judd Trump joined an elite group of players by winning the World Snooker Tour Masters multiple times. Judd beat Mark Williams 10-8 in the final in London.
The Walt Disney Resort in Florida hosted the University World Cheerleading Championships 2023. Twelve titles were claimed by teams from all around the world. Full results can be found here. https://cheerunion.org/championships/university/results_23/
Three International Ice Hockey World Championships featured last week, all in the Women's U18 category. Division I, Group B was played in Katowice in Poland with Denmark beating South Korea in the final. Ritten in Italy hosted Division I, Group A. France claimed the gold medal against Germany in extra time. In the main event at Östersund in Sweden, Canada dominated the hosts 10-0 to become World Champions.
Until next time, have a great week in sport.