Wolfgang Kindl triumphed in the men's competition in Königssee ©Getty Images

World champion Wolfgang Kindl earned gold in the men's event at the International Luge Federation World Cup in Königssee.

The Austrian was hoping to make it back-to-back victories following a success in Lake Placid at the end of 2017.

He achieved a time of 49.440sec in the first run of the competition, which placed him above Germany's triple Olympic champion Felix Loch at the halfway stage.

Loch appeared on course to secure victory in the second run, but an error on the lower section of the course dropped him to 11th in the standings.

It allowed Kindl to secure the win, with the world champion ending with a combined time of 1min 39.035sec.

"I've started the New Year where I left off at the end of last year," Kindl said.

"The win in Lake Placid gave me a real boost, and I'm now on top of the health issues that were affecting me at the start of the season.

"But to be honest, I wouldn't have beaten Felix here today if he hadn't made a mistake."

Italy took advantage of Germany's disqualification to win the team event ©Getty Images
Italy took advantage of Germany's disqualification to win the team event ©Getty Images

Kindl's compatriot Armin Frauscher finished second in a time of 1:39.064, while the podium was rounded off by Germany's Johannes Ludwig in 1:39.154.

A fourth-place finish was cause for celebration for Andi Langenhan, with the result proving enough to take the German to a third straight Olympic Games at Pyeongchang 2018.

Loch, who is hoping to win a sixth overall title, remains at the top of the World Cup standings on 571 points, but Kindl has closed in on the German by moving onto 529.

There was a surprise result in the team relay as Germany's winning streak came to an end on their home track due to a false start.

Italy's team of Andrea Vötter, Dominik Fischnaller, Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier took full advantage to top the standings.

They were followed by the United States and Austria, who rounded off the podium places.

Germany remain as the World Cup leaders on 300 points, with Canada now 15 points adrift in second.