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Taubitz wins again, Sweeney top US finisher in women's luge

Julia Taubitz of Germany got her fifth win of the women’s World Cup luge season on Sunday, closing the gap between her and series leader Natalie Geisenberger in the overall women’s standings to four points.

Geisenberger, also of Germany, finished second — her seventh silver medal in seven races this season. Madeleine Egle of Austria took third.

Geisenberger now has 595 points on the season as she seeks an eighth overall title in nine years; she didn’t compete last season after giving birth to her first child. Taubitz, last season’s overall women’s champion, has 591 points.

Germany's Julia Taubitz prepares for the women's single luge world cup race in Schoenau at the Koenigssee, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (Tobias Hasedpa via AP)

Emily Sweeney was the top U.S. finisher, placing 10th in her first World Cup of the season. USA Luge rejoined the international circuit last week after sitting out the first half of the season in response to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns about international travel.

Also for the U.S. women, Ashley Farquharson took 13th, Summer Britcher 15th and Brittney Arndt 16th.

Austria capped the day with a win in the team relay, followed by Germany and Russia. The U.S. team of Britcher and Jonny Gustafson and the doubles sled of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman was sixth.

First placed team Austria, from left, Madeleine Egle, Nico Gleirscher, Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller pose after the team's luge world cup race in Schoenau at the Koenigssee, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (Tobias Hasedpa via AP)