Latvian sports roundup

Latvian winter sports athletes had a busy weekend winning medals in Switzerland and Germany, meanwhile the men's floorball team qualifies for the World Floorball Championships and Latvia's tennis players move up in the rankings.

Bobsleigh

The 2-man bobsleigh team piloted by Oskars Ķirbermanis stepped on the podium for the second time this season at the BMW International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation World Cup stage in St. Moritz, winning third place, while the 4-man team also piloted by Ķibermanis took second, according to event organizers.

In the 2-man race piloted by German Johannes Lochner won first place with a total time of 2:14.19 minutes. The Latvian team was 0.28 seconds behind. The team had their best start in their first run, but according to coach Sandis Prūsis, mistakes in the second run kept them out of silver medal contention.

On Sunday the 4-man team piloted by Ķibermanis was beaten only by the Canadion team piloted by Justin Kripps with a total time of 2:11.12 minutes. The Latvian team was only 0.13 seconds behind. They had a few small mistakes in the first run, and even though the second run had the best start time of the competition, there were mistakes nonetheless. Due to injuries Ķibermanis was kept out of the overall top three, ranking fourth in the World Cup.

The 4-man team piloted by Ralfs Bērziņš won second place at the Europe Cup stage in Innsbruck, also placing second at the Junior European Championships. In the Europe Cup stage Olympic champion Oskars Melbārdis split seventh place. Melbārdis placed second in the Europe Cup overall rankings for both 2-man and 4-man bobsleigh.

Luge

The Latvian men's luge doubles team composed of brothers Andris and Juris Šics placed second at the Viessmann Luge World Cup stage in Oberhof, while Inārs Kivlenieks placed third in the singles category and Latvia placed third in the Team Relay as well, according to event organizers.

The brothers finished both rides in 1:23.812 minutes, which was 0.117 seconds behind the hometown winners Tobias Wendl, Tobias and Tobias Arlt. Oskars Gudramovičs and Pēteris Kalniņš placed fourth, while Kristens Putins and Imants Marcinkēvičs were disqualified. Gudramovičs/Kalniņš were second after the first run, but fell in the ranks after the second run. 

German Johannes Ludwig placed first in the singles with a time of 1:28.267 minutes. Kivlenieks was 0.170 seconds behind. Latvian Kristers Aparjods was twelvth in both runs, but his total placed him in fourth. Latvian Artūrs Dārznieks placed tenth overall, while Riks Kristens Rozītis placed twentieth.

In the women's competition Aparjode placed sixth, while Elīze Cauce finished in eleventh, and Ulla Zirne was one place lower. Aparjode was 0.273 seconds behind German athlete Anna Berreiter, while Cauce was 0.588 seconds behind. Aparjode is eighth in the overall rankings, while Cauce and Zirne are fourteenth and fifteenth, respectively.

Latvian luge athletes Kendija Aparjode, Inārs Kivlenieks, Juris and Andris Šics were 0.10 second behind the German relay team, which won with a time of 2:22.678 minutes. The American team placed second. The Latvian team is now ranked fifth overall.

Latvian luge team placed 3rd at Team Relay World Cup

Floorball

Although the Latvian men's floorball team lost their last game against the Czech Republic 3:5, the team has already qualified for the 2020 International Floorball Federation World Floorball Championships after defeating Germany 6:1 in their third qualifiers win in Liepāja, according to event organizers.

The Latvian team had previously crushed France 17:0 and beat Austria 10:1. Latvia won Group F with six points, leaving Germany behind with four points. Austria was third with two points, while France had zero. In the overall rankings Latvia is in tenth place, but Germany is in fifth. The finals match against the Czech Republic was purely for prestiges, as both teams had already qualified for the World Championships.

Latvian floorball team in World Championships qualifiers

Tennis

After the Australian Open Latvian tennis player Ernests Gulbis moved up 77 positions in the men's Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings to 187th place, while in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings Latvian tennis player Aļona Ostapenko regained the upper hand over fellow Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, according to organizers.

Gulbis made it through the qualification and first two rounds of the first Grand Slam of the year, but during his next tournament in India he fell out after the first qualification round. Serbian player Novak Djokovic took the top spot from Spaniard Rafael Nadal after winning the Australian Open.

Ostapenko moved up five places to 40th position after winning a match at the Australian Open, while Sevastova lost in the first round and moved down to 41st position. Australian Ashleigh Barty maintained her top position in the WTA rankings.

Anastasija Sevastova (pa kreisi) un Aļona Ostapenko
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