Glen Rock's Summer Britcher takes fourth in women's World Cup luge finale
Glen Rock’s Summer Britcher finished fourth on Saturday during the final women’s World Cup luge race of the season in Koenigssee, Germany.
She missed a bronze medal by just 0.013 of a second.
Nevertheless, the Susquehannock High School graduate moved from sixth to fifth place in the final overall women’s World Cup standings.
“The runs felt very good,” Britcher said on the USA Luge website. “It wasn’t the result I wanted. We’re always gunning for those podium finishes, but I’m really proud of my approach to the final race. I wanted to end on a good note, a positive note and have a fun time.”
Germany’s Julia Taubitz claimed the 2019-20 overall women’s World Cup championship.
Tatyana Ivanova and Taubitz were the only contenders left for the women’s World Cup overall title, with the Russian leading by 27 points going into the finale.
But Ivanova struggled in her second run, leaving the door open for Taubitz. The German delivered with the second-fastest run of the final heat – good enough to replace seven-time champion Natalie Geisenberger as the new World Cup women’s overall titlist. Geisenberger took this season off while she and her husband expected their first child.
Anna Berreiter of Germany won the race, with Taubitz second and Russia’s Viktoriia Demchenko third.
No sanctions: Friday, Britcher learned she wouldn’t be sanctioned by the International Luge Federation for comments she made about safety and course conditions at last weekend’s World Cup competition.
The International Luge Federation said Friday it is rescinding plans to penalize Britcher for her comments “and considers the case to be closed.”
The decision came after Britcher and USA Luge teammate Chris Mazdzer, the athletes’ spokesman for the FIL, met with luge officials to discuss the matter.
Britcher was one of many athletes to publicly criticize the FIL over the course conditions and the way sliders’ concerns were handled last weekend at a World Cup in Winterberg, Germany.
“I have grown a great disdain for the International Luge Federation, and those who make these decisions,” Britcher wrote as part of a long post on her Instagram page last weekend.
Britcher said the luge organization has a disregard for “1-the safety of the athletes, and 2- the integrity and fairness of our sport.”
The FIL said at the time it would sanction Britcher for her “unsporting” comments, but never announced what that penalty would be.
Now, the organization has decided there will be no penalty.
Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.