Di Gregorio-Hollander sled makes Olympics, Mazdzer waiting

Sports

SIGULDA, Latvia (AP)Zack Di Gregorio and Sean Hollander are headed to the Olympics for USA Luge. The doubles team is waiting to see if reigning silver medalist Chris Mazdzer also is going to Beijing.

Di Gregorio and Hollander clinched their first Olympic berths Saturday, on a day when Germany took three of six medals awarded in a pair of World Cup races.

Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the doubles race for Germany, with Latvia’s Andris Sics and Juris Sics finishing second and Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt placing third.

And in the men’s race, Latvia’s Kristers Aparjods prevailed on home ice, with Germany’s Felix Loch second and Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller third.

They’re all comfortably in the Olympic fields.

Di Gregorio and Hollander, meanwhile, had to sweat it out until the very end. And Mazdzer is still waiting for official word.

The top U.S. sled in Saturday’s doubles race was Dana Kellogg and Duncan Segger, who finished 12th – four spots ahead of Di Gregorio and Hollander. But that wasn’t enough to get Kellogg and Segger past them in the Olympic rankings, and, with the U.S. qualifying only one sled for the Beijing Games, that meant Di Gregorio and Hollander got the spot.

Mazdzer was 25th in the men’s race. A top-16 finish would have guaranteed he made the Beijing Olympics field. But for now, USA Luge knows it is ensured of only two starting spots – which will go to Tucker West and Jonny Gustafson – in the men’s race there.

The question is whether the Americans will qualify three. The International Luge Federation’s system is complicated, and the sport’s governing body isn’t planning on announcing how many spots each nation get for the Olympics until Monday.

If USA Luge qualified three men’s sleds – and there was some optimism Saturday that the Americans would get three spots – Mazdzer is in. If not, he’s out, which would be doubly devastating to him, since he and Jayson Terdiman didn’t qualify for the Olympics in doubles, either.

”It’s been a fun ride,” Mazdzer said at the top of the track, looking toward the camera and speaking literally two or three seconds before starting his second heat on Saturday. ”If this is it, love you guys. Thanks for following.”

Gustafson was the top American in the men’s field on Saturday, finishing 21st. West crashed in his first run and did not finish.

UP NEXT

Sunday has a women’s race, then sprint races in men’s, women’s and doubles.

More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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