World federation decision: rule change annoys German Lugers

Status: 10/10/2022 8:25 PM

Because the world federation has changed the regulations, the sleds have to be rebuilt – to the chagrin of toboggan countries like Germany, who are used to success.

Seven pages of the International Luge Regulations for Artificial Track (IRO) detail every detail about the sleds on which World Cup points and titles are at stake every winter in the ice channels of the world. Only seven pages out of 120.

But what the world toboggan federation FIL changed at its congress in Hall in Tyrol in June this year does not amount to a revolution. But it will change a lot in the coming toboggan winter.

Deeper, wider – easier to master?

“Unity sled” is the new hate word used by German tobogganists. The FIL wants to make the sport of tobogganing more exciting – and those who suffer from it are the runners of the German bobsleigh and toboggan sports association BSD. The sleds get deeper, the distance between the runners increases – the goal of the FIL is better controllability.

“I think the reason is that supposedly weaker countries can push themselves more,” says Tobias Wendl of the German “Rodel-Tobis” Wendl/Arlt. The driver field will probably come closer together, in the spirit of the FIL.

German tobogganists lose technological lead

Another side effect: the development costs are decreasing. The fact that toboggan country Germany has been so strong for decades is also due to the technological lead of strong partners such as the Institute for Research and Development of Sports Equipment (FES) or the inventors at motorcycle manufacturer BMW. This lead is also likely to shrink.

“We’re already limited there,” Wendl says, also in terms of “the aerodynamic components. This makes everything fairer.” Since the changes were announced, the German toboggan teams have tinkered with. However, the effort remains limited with the six-time Olympic champion Wendl/Arlt.

Wendl/Arlt only needs minimal rebuilding

“Thank goodness we didn’t have to make the big changes to the device like other athletes, because we can use our shell, for example,” says Tobias Wendl: “We only have to make a few adjustments.”

Others, such as longtime competitors Sascha Benecken/Toni Eggert, were hit harder by the new FIL specifications: almost the entire sled had to be rebuilt for the new season. The Thuringian duo wanted to stop because the regulation changes were introduced by the world federation at such short notice. Now they both compete with a “now more than ever” mentality.

Source: BR24 Sport 10/10/2022 – 6:30 pm

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