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Tatjana Huefner helps Germany add to its women's singles luge legacy

February 16, 2010 |  4:56 pm


Tatjana Huefner edged Austria's Nina Reithmayer to give Germany its ninth women's singles luge gold medal in 13 Olympic competitions.

Huefner, who took the bronze four years ago in Turin, Italy, had a four-run time of 2 minutes 46.524 seconds, .49 of a second better than Reithmayer. Germany's Natalie Geisenberger took the bronze. Reithmayer's runner-up finish prevented a third consecutive Olympic sweep by the Germans.

The victory, combined with Felix Loch's triumph in the men's competition, gave Germany the gold medals in both  singles luge events for the sixth time. No other nation has accomplished the feat once.

American Erin Hamlin, the 2009 women's world champion, finished 16th in 2:49.108. She was frustrated by the new course, which was shortened after a fatal accident earlier this week,  with the start line moved to the junior area.

"A winner is a winner, and the top people are still doing well," Hamlin said. "So you can't really take anything away from them. It is a bummer, just because we prepared for so long for a whole different race."

The U.S.' Julia Clukey was 17th and Olympic rookie Megan Sweeney was 22nd.

-- Dan Loumena

Associated Press contributed to this report

Photo: Gold medalist Tatjana Huefner, left, and bronze medalist Natalie Geisenberger raise the German flag overhead following the women's singles luge competition Tuesday. Credit: Michael Sohn / Associated Press