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Culture

German Athletes in Top Form for Winter Sports

This weekend saw the kick-off of many major winter sporting events around the world. German athletes claimed the top spots in several events.

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Germany's Anni Friesinger took first place at the speedskating World Cup on Sunday.

Nordic Skiing

At the Nordic skiing World Cup cross country events in Beitostolen, Norway on Sunday, the German women's team placed second in the 4x5 km relay behind Norway. The German team comprised of Jens Filbrich, Axel Teichmann, René Sommerfeldt und Tobias Angerer won the men's 4x10 km relay. In the leading nations Cup standings for men, Germany is third with 513 points following Sweden in first place and Norway in second place. In the women's results, Germany is in second place with 508 points after Norway.

Alpine Skiing

Finland's Kalle Palander successfully defended his title of best slalom skiier in the world at the weekend's World Cup event in Park City, Utah. Palander, who won four slaloms last year to become the first Finnish skier to win a World Cup title, had a combined time of 1:35.91. American Bode Miller fell late in the first run and was disqualified, but still leads the overall World Cup standings by winning the first two giant slaloms of the season, including Saturday's race in Park City. No Germans qualified for the final.

Bobsleigh

The German bobsleigh team celebrated a big victory at the Visa Calgary Cup event on Sunday in Calgary, Canada. Andre Lange, the reigning 4-man World Champion and World Cup overall title holder, and his Germany 1 crew set a new track record of 53.50 seconds in the second heat to take gold with a combined time of 1:47.09, 10/100ths faster than team-mate Christoph Langen, 41, in the Germany 2 sled. Russia 1 won the bronze. Lange’s new record is a quarter second better than the one he established in Calgary in February 2003 of 53.75 seconds. "I wasn’t thinking about the track record," said Lange. "I was fighting against Christoph again and that made me stronger."

Luge

The Viessmann Luge World Cup took place in Altenberg, Germany on the weekend. Italy's Armin Zögeller claimed his second gold medal of the 03-04 season, posting a two-run time of 1:49.447. He was followed in second place by Austrian Markus Kleinheinz with a time of 1:49.634. Jan Eichhorn and Dennis Geppert of Germany took fifth and sixth place consecutively.

Speedskating

Germany's Anni Friesinger won the women's 1,500 meters on Sunday in World Cup speedskating in Heerenveen, the Netherlands. Friesinger, who beat overall leader Jennifer Rodriguez of the United States for the first time this season, posted a winning time of 1:58.34 minutes. Dutchwoman Renate Groenewold finished second in 1:58.71, while Rodriguez was third in 1:58.82.

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