Luge: Kraushaar's unbeaten run reaches 78

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Silke Kraushaar captured the singles yesterday at the European Championships, a victory that stretched the German women's run to 78 straight international wins in the event.

Kraushaar broke the course record with her second run of 41.461sec, finishing in 1min 22.995sec as the Germans remained unbeaten in the women's singles since November of 1997.

Kraushaar, the 1997 Olympic champion, won her second European title after 1998 on the track she trains on.

"Winning at home is always the best, but also the most difficult, because the pressure is higher," Kraushaar said.

The Germans took the top four places, with Tatjana Huefner second in 1min 23sec, the defending champion, Sylke Otto, third in 1:23.367 and Barbara Niedernhuber fourth.

Steffen Skel and Steffen Woeller completed a big week for the Germans by winning the men's double in 1:22.633, setting a new heat record of 41.181sec their first time they went down the slope.

The Germans also won the team title on Saturday, though the Italian Olympic champion, Armin Zoeggeler, was able to break up their dominance with a title in the men's singles.

Italy's Christian Oberstolz and Patric Gruber took silver in the doubles with a time of 1:22.855, followed by the Austrians Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger in 1:23.101.

The Olympic champions, Germany's Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch, settled for sixth after a near crash in their first heat.