Natalie Geisenberger against Julia Taubitz: Before the German duel for toboggan gold, a moment of shock sharpened the senses on Sunday.
Natalie Geisenberger quickly found her smile again after her moment of shock. “That’s good,” joked the German luger in view of the initially missing TV pictures of her fall in the penultimate training run. However, the mishap in the tricky turn 13 once again showed the pitfalls of the Olympic track in Yanqing.
Geisenberger and then world champion Julia Taubitz botched a round in the final training session because of unfamiliar lighting conditions. If the competition starts on Monday, similar mistakes should cost a medal. The two very different top favorites – here the experienced, there the debutant – have been warned.
“Anyone who comes down clean here four times will be among the frontrunners,” predicted the 34-year-old Geisenberger, who can be optimistic overall. Of the total of six practice runs, the four-time Olympic champion finally won five, only when Geisenberger fell on Sunday morning did Taubitz come out on top.
Records don’t matter at all
A pointer? “All cards are only put on the table for the race, we all know that,” said Taubitz meaningfully on Saturday. The always beaming 25-year-old won the crystal globe in the overall World Cup in the Olympic winter and actually made a stronger impression than Geisenberger. So far, this has not been confirmed in China.
It will be exciting in the four races – and maybe even historic. With a success after gold medals, Geisenberger could draw level with the best German Olympian Claudia Pechstein. In the team competition there would even be a chance for the sixth Olympic coup.
The Miesbach woman “doesn’t care at all” about such records, she assured the SID. Since the birth of her son Leo in May 2020, the “toboggan mom” no longer subordinates everything to success, the priorities have shifted. However, depressurized sledding seems to be her recipe for success in the Yanqing ice track.
Whether it leads to gold again will depend on her, but also on the competition for Taubitz.