On Russian ice, Germany is making itself at home.
The world’s sliding superpower won its third straight gold medal in luge at the Sochi Games Wednesday as Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt captured the doubles competition.
Known as ‘‘The two Tobis,’’ Wendl and Arlt completed their two trips down the Sanki Sliding center track in 1 minute, 38.933 seconds — 0.522 ahead of Andreas and Wolfgang Linger of Austria, who were trying to become the first doubles team to win gold three times in a row.
Andris Sics and his brother, Juris, won the bronze in 1:39.790. The Sics, who won silver four years ago in Vancouver, began the second run in fifth place but jumped Canada’s Tristan Walker and Justin Smith as well as Austria’s Peter Fenz and Georg Fischler, who nearly crashed on their last run and dropped all the way from third to last — 5 seconds behind the champions.
Jayson Terdiman and Christian Niccum of the US finished 11th.
Sweden 4, Czech Republic 2 — Erik Karlsson scored two goals in his Olympic debut, captain Henrik Zetterberg added a goal, and Sweden won in preliminary-round play.
Switzerland 1, Latvia 0 — Simon Moser was credited with a goal that caromed off Latvian defenseman Georgijs Pujacs in front of the net with 7.9 seconds left, lifting Switzerland in the Olympic opener for both teams.
Finland 4, Switzerland 3 — Jenni Hiirikoski scored her second goal of the game with 2:22 left in overtime to help Finland grab the No. 3 seed in the playoffs.
Florence Schelling of Northeastern University made 40 saves for Switzerland, which was winless in group play.
Men’s individual normal hill — After dominating Nordic combined for the past two years, Eric Frenzel wasn’t about to have a letdown on his sport’s biggest stage.
The 25-year-old German led after ski jumping, worked with eventual silver medal winner Akito Wanabe on the 10-kilometer cross-country phase, and then left the Japanese skier in a haze of snow to win the individual normal hill gold.
Frenzel won the World Cup last season, is a runaway leader this season after seven wins, and had a bronze medal with the German team from Vancouver in 2010.
Add an Olympic gold to that list of accomplishments, with the likelihood they'll be a few more before he’s done.
Magnus Krog took the bronze.
Billy Demong of Park City, Utah, the defending gold medalist on the large hill, was the leading American, finishing 24th.
Men — China’s curlers kept up their surprise run by beating Switzerland and Germany, leaving them at the top of the standings with four straight wins.
With Sweden (3-1) losing, 8-5, to Denmark in the evening session, Norway (3-0) is only other unbeaten team in the competition after defeating Germany, 8-5, in the morning.
Two-time defending champion Canada recovered from back-to-back losses by beating Russia, 7-4, and the other evening game saw Britain eke out a 4-2 victory over Switzerland, equaling the lowest-scoring game in the history of the men’s tournament.
The US men and women were a combined 0-5 after two days’ play, but John Shuster’s team ended the losing streak by beating Denmark, 9-5, in the morning, with 5 of its points coming from steals.
Women — Canada got a third straight win, defeating Britain, 9-6, in a tense game that went down to the final stone. The US, meanwhile, lost again to move to the brink of elimination.
British skip Eve Muirhead had an easy chance to take the game to an extra end at 8-8 by scoring two points with the last shot. Instead, she gambled on removing three Canadian rocks in the house and going for three points, which would have won the game 9-8. The move backfired.