KRASNAYA POLYANA — Russia took the silver medal in the new luge team event at the Sochi Olympics on Thursday, as Germany completed its clean sweep of gold medals in the sport.
In a result that was almost a foregone conclusion, Germany's champions from the men's singles, men's doubles and women's events came together at the Sanki Sliding Center to take the gold medal by a massive margin of 1.03 seconds.
The bronze medal went to Latvia, 1.646 seconds off the pace.
Italy finished fifth, denying a luge-record seventh Olympic medal to legendary slider Armin Zoeggeler in his last Olympic event.
Germany's gold-winning run began with Natalie Geisenberger, who hit a paddle at the bottom to release two-time Olympic men's champion Felix Loch, in turn setting off Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, who won doubles gold Wednesday.
The team event is a new addition for Sochi and brings together male and female sliders for the first time in the same competition. At the bottom of each run, athletes raise their arms to hit a target that releases their next teammate.
There was no delay to the event despite a bizarre incident earlier in the day in which a non-competition bobsled struck a track worker, breaking both of his legs. The man, who has not been identified, was flown to hospital. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has said his life is not in danger.