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Erin Hamlin just misses history at World Championships

Erin Hamlin

KOENIGSSEE, GERMANY - JANUARY 03: Erin Hamlin of the United States competes in the 1st run of the Women’s FIL Luge World Cup Koenigssee at Deutsche Post Eisarena on January 3, 2015 in Koenigssee, Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bongarts/Getty Images

Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin placed fourth at the World Luge Championships in Sigulda, Latvia, on Saturday, nearly winning the first U.S. singles medal at a Worlds held outside North America.

German Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger captured her second straight World title, beating Russian Tatyana Ivanova by .316 over two runs. German Tatjana Huefner captured bronze.

Hamlin, who became the first U.S. Olympic singles medalist in Sochi, was .367 behind Geisenberger and .046 out of bronze.

“I had a few really small things where I could find more time probably, but as a whole, I’m very satisfied,” she said.

Hamlin, 28, won the 2009 World Championship in Lake Placid, N.Y., the only non-German to win a World title since 1995. Hamlin had never finished better than fifth in four previous World Championships held in Europe.

No U.S. singles slider has won a World Championships medal outside North America.

The luge season concludes with World Cup stops the next two weekends. Hamlin is sixth in this season’s standings -- behind four Germans and a Canadian -- with a best finish of second.

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