The German toboggan doubles Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt are Olympic champions – again. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken is “only” silver.
Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt enjoyed this moment, which they know so well: The doubles stood at the top of the podium and kissed their gold medals, they have already won five of them – one step down Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken consoled themselves with silver. They had dominated the toboggan runs for four years, but Olympia once again belonged to Wendl and Arlt.
“Anyone who knows us knows that we are fighters and biters,” said Wendl on “ZDF”: “You can count on us at the peak every four years, and that’s how it was again.” Arlt described a “dream that has come true. We can’t believe it, it hasn’t gotten into our heads yet.”
Wendl and Arlt on record course
Because Bayern’s balance sheet reached historic proportions in Beijing’s thousandth thriller. They are now Olympic champions in doubles for the third time in a row, no other duo has managed that. If they also win the team relay on Thursday, as they did in 2014 and 2018, they are Germany’s most successful winter Olympians together with teammate Natalie Geisenberger – ahead of Claudia Pechstein.
In Beijing it was the third gold for the German lugers after the triumphs of Geisenberger and Johannes Ludwig in the third competition, and Anna Berreiter also won another silver medal. The world champions Eggert/Benecken had won bronze in 2018, now they made the first German double victory since 1992 perfect with silver. The co-favorites Thomas Steu/Lorenz Koller from Austria took third place on Wednesday.
Eggert/Benecken applauded honestly when they saw the “1” light up behind the name of their permanent rivals in the finish area – but it was a strange deja vu. Because already in the Olympic season four years ago and since then Eggert/Benecken had actually made the stronger impression.
“Olympia has its own laws”
Since their triumph in Pyeongchang in 2018, Wendl/Arlt have only won six World Cups – Eggert/Benecken have been at the top 17 times in the same period, they have won a total of four World Championship titles and the overall World Cup six times. But at the climax, the tide turned again.
“Olympia has its own laws,” said Eggert: “We can be proud of silver, but of course we wanted this gold.” Benecken suggested a different solution: “The two of us will climb Mount Olympus in Greece on foot. Then we’ll be at the top there too.”
Wendl/Arlt, who have known each other for more than 20 years, maintained their narrow lead in the decisive second run – in the end 99 thousandths decided on gold and silver.