Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller earned his first victory of the season in the International Luge Federation World Cup in Lillehammer – but Germany took some of the credit.
Before setting off on the 1994 Winter Olympic track on which he had earned his first World Cup win in 2013, the 24-year-old World Championship bronze medallist required last-minute treatment form the German team doctor for a back problem.
The medical intervention clearly worked, as Fischnaller reached the podium for the first time since the Olympic test event in Pyeongchang last February.
"Lillehammer feels like my home track because we train here so much," Fischnaller said.
"In my three races on this track I’ve won twice and come third once.
"I have to thank the German team doctor who did an amazing job sorting out my back problems."
Roman Repilov of Russia took second place after recovering from a first run that left him down in ninth place, finishing just 0.096 seconds behind the Italian.
The bronze medal was taken by Austria’s world champion Wolfgang Kindl.
"I’m always happy with a podium finish," said Kindl.
"The competition was really strong.
"After a lean spell, Dominik Fischnaller is back at the sharp end.
"After training, I thought I might finish even further up but the other guys don’t make things easy.
"Mind you, that’s what makes it so exciting."
Fifth place was enough to keep Germany’s Felix Loch at the top of the overall World Cup standings with 726 points, with Kindl second on 638.
Russia’s Semen Pavlichenko, third with 547 points, had to settle for 15th place after a botched first run.
Sixth place earned David Gleirscher a good chance of making Austria’s Olympic squad along with Kindl and Reinhard Egger, who was 18th today.