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Luge at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Games:

Women's Singles

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Events:
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Host City: Grenoble, France
Venue(s): Luge Track, Villard-de-Lans
Date Started: February 11, 1968
Date Finished: February 13, 1968
Format: Three runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: ITA Erika Lechner
Silver: FRG Christa Schmuck
Bronze: FRG Angelika Dünhaupt

Summary

The women's competition was overshadowed by a scandal involving three sleighers, two of them set to win the medals. Two of the three East German women, Ortrun Enderlein and [Anna-Maria Müller] were leading after three runs (the fourth was eventually cancelled) when they were disqualified for heating the runners of their sleds. This practice gives lugers an advantage, as the warm runners melt the ice of the track, resulting in less friction when going downhill. At luge's Olympic debut in 1964, heating of the runners was commonly practiced by nearly all competitors, but the International Luge Federation (FIL) had since forbidden this. At competitions, a technical delegate of FIL checked the sleds, measuring temperature of the runners by hand. However, after the first two runs, there were persistent rumours that the East Germans were nevertheless warming their material. This prompted the chief of the Jury, Poland's Lucian Świderski, to test the runners himself. Witnessed by team leaders of Austria and Italy, he concluded that the three East Germans, who were in positions 1, 2 and 4 after three runs, had heated their runners, and were to be disqualified. When the 4th run was cancelled due to the poor weather, this left the title to Italy's Erika Lechner, ahead of two West German women.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Erika Lechner 20 Italy ITA Gold 2:28.66
2 Christa Schmuck 24 West Germany FRG Silver 2:29.37
3 Angelika Dünhaupt 21 West Germany FRG Bronze 2:29.56
4 Helena Macher 30 Poland POL 2:30.05
5 Jadwiga Damse 20 Poland POL 2:30.15
6 Dana Beldová-Spálenská 17 Czechoslovakia TCH 2:30.35
7 Anna Mąka 19 Poland POL 2:30.40
8 Ute Gähler 26 West Germany FRG 2:30.42
9 Leni Thurner 29 Austria AUT 2:30.50
10 Marlene Korthals 24 Austria AUT 2:31.33
11 Olina Hátlová-Tylová 24 Czechoslovakia TCH 2:31.65
12 Linda Crutchfield-Bocock 25 Canada CAN 2:32.46
13 Berit Salomonsson 16 Sweden SWE 2:33.55
14 Kathleen Ann Roberts-Homstad 16 United States USA 2:33.60
15 Elfriede Wäger 21 Austria AUT 2:34.41
16 Ellen Williams 20 United States USA 2:35.15
17 Sheila Johansen 21 United States USA 2:35.47
18 Martha Diplock 26 Canada CAN 2:35.48
19 Sylvette Grassi 18 France FRA 2:36.48
20 Jacqueline Barasinski 20 France FRA 2:36.79
21 Erica Prugger 22 Italy ITA 2:44.21
AC Cristina Pabst 20 Italy ITA DNF
AC Phyllis Walter 20 Canada CAN DQ
AC Angela Knösel 18 East Germany GDR [2:28.93] DQ
AC Anna-Maria Müller 18 East Germany GDR [2:28.06] DQ
AC Ortrun Enderlein 24 East Germany GDR [2:28.04] DQ