KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia -- Russia cashed in on its home-ice advantage Friday and swept the first three gold medals handed out at this weekend's luge world championships.
Aleksandr Denisev and Vladislav Antonov won the doubles sprint world title, followed by Italy's Emanuel Rieder and Simon Kainzwaldner in second and the German team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt in third.
Roman Repilov held off Olympic champion David Gleirscher of Austria in one of the closest races in world championships history, winning the men's sprint title by six-thousandths of a second. Italy's Dominik Fischnaller was third.
Ekaterina Katnikova won the women's sprint, holding off fellow Russian Tatyana Ivanova for that title. Eliza Cauze of Latvia was third.
USA Luge had three sleds in the sprint finals. Summer Britcher was seventh in the women's race, Ashley Farquharson was 12th in the same race, and the doubles team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed ninth.