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World Cup in Altenberg: Golden World Cup farewell for national toboggan coach Loch

World Cup in Altenberg: Golden World Cup farewell for national toboggan coach Loch

In a thriller on the ice track, Germany’s tobogganers win team gold. It is a special title for national coach Norbert Loch.

Norbert Loch hugged his tobogganers after the gold coup at the home World Championships and danced through the Altenberg ice channel.

For the national coach, who left after the season, the relay victory on Sunday meant his 97th World Cup medal and his 44th gold. “It’s been a very, very long time. I want to hand over a well-functioning team to our new head coach when the season is over,” said Loch.

At the Olympics, Loch’s protégés won 13 gold, five silver and four bronze medals. The six-time Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger, who ended her career and was officially farewelled on Sunday with an emotional ceremony, said: “I am excited to see whether there will ever be such a successful national luge coach again.”

Team relay ensures a golden World Cup final

World Cup medal number 96 in the Loch era took Julia Taubitz shortly before the team victory ahead of the USA and Latvia with silver in the single-seater race behind the Austrian surprise winner Lisa Schulte. Two days after her sprint gold, the 27-year-old was not completely satisfied: “I would have liked to have shown better runs. Nevertheless, I am incredibly happy about the medal.”

Things went better for Taubitz in the team relay. Together with World Cup third-place finishers Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt, world champion Max Langenhan as well as Dajana Eitberger and Saskia Schirmer, she raced to the title – and gave the national coach the golden World Cup final.

His son Felix Loch had announced the impending departure of his father, head coach of the German lugers since 2008, the day before after his roommate Langenhan’s triumphant ride. “My dad is stepping down after the season. Patric Leitner is taking over,” said the three-time Olympic champion after winning bronze, his 21st World Cup medal.

The designated national toboggan coach Leitner, Olympic champion in 2002, was not at the men’s gala in the Erzgebirge on Saturday. He broke his leg. The 46-year-old reported from the hospital: “I’m really happy, it’s going to be an exciting task. I’m ready.”

Envy is a foreign word

Leitner can continue to rely on Langenhan and Felix Loch. The fact that both won a medal was “the most important thing,” said Langenhan. The good relationship between the two world-class toboggans is remarkable. Envy is a foreign word. “I don’t want to see Max as a little foster son, but I try to give him a lot, we work very, very well together,” says Loch and said with a smile: “It’s enough for me if I come second behind him.”

The six-time Olympic champions Wendl and Arlt won bronze in the doubles – they have always won medals at major events in the last 13 years. “Norbert has been with us all our lives. We have won everything with him, gone through ups and downs. But at some point every era comes to an end. We can only thank you for the great time,” said Wendl.

Last year at the World Cup gala for German luge athletes with eight titles in nine races, only the men’s single-seaters remained without gold. Langenhan came second in Oberhof – “with a broken hand,” as he noted again. This time he was fit. “He drove like a little god,” praised the national coach.

Norbert Loch will continue to work at the base in Berchtesgaden after the season; the successful coach’s farewell is well thought out and well timed two years before the Olympics. “Society is changing, athletes have completely different demands. You grow with it, but at some point it’s all good.”

Source: Stern

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