At the world cup finals in paramonovo, about 80 kilometers from moscow, a second place on the day was enough for the 28-year-old to secure a permanent place in the luge history books: her overall victory number five put hufner on a par with former top luger silke kraushaar-pielach in the eternal best list.
In the doubles’ event, tobias wendl and tobias arlt missed their second overall world cup triumph by a hair’s breadth: the bavarian duo finished second behind the austrians peter penz/georg fischler. Only one day’s success was enough for the two, as the austrian world cup leaders andreas and wolfgang linger had made a big mistake and only finished sixth. But the germans missed their second overall victory after 2010/11. "At least we made it very exciting", wendl stated.
Hufner could feel the heavy pressure falling off her shoulders. "I have to admit that I was a little nervous before the race. We only have nine world cups, so you can’t afford to make too many mistakes," she explained. Last week, hufner had made the race for the crystal globe even more exciting with some serious mistakes in sigulda: team-mate natalie geisenberger had come within 26 points of the olympic and world champion.
"It was a question of everything. But I had all the trumps in my hand," the player from thuringia emphasized. And kept her nerves: behind russia’s tatiana iwanowa, who also won the european championship title, hufner finished in second place thanks to two experienced runs. Corinna martini came in third on the day and won european bronze on the russian artificially-iced track.
"This is a perfect finish. You mustn’t forget that I didn’t compete at all last winter because of a back injury," said the winterberger.
Geisenberger, with the rough chance in front of her eyes, remained behind her possibilities instead. After a disappointing fifth place in the first run, the luger from miesbach improved to fourth place – but in the end she missed out on a european championship medal and was unable to beat hufner in the overall world cup. "I risked everything again in the second run," she said. She was about three hundredths of a second behind the luge dominator – "I would have been able to beat tatjana today!"
Russia’s ivanova was a real eye-catcher: in front of her home crowd, she claimed only the second world cup victory by a non-german athlete this season and won european championship gold, as she did in sigulda in 2010. At that time, however, the german aces had completely renounced their participation in the european championships because of the upcoming olympic games. In the overall ranking ivanova moved up to seventh place, but she was not able to penetrate the german phalanx: behind hufner and geisenberger there were two more women from germany, anke vishnewski (third) and corinna martini (fourth).