Loch defends Olympic luge title; Zoeggeler wins record sixth straight luge medal


The youngest men’s singles luge champion in Olympic history has done it again.

On the final run of the competition, Germany’s Felix Loch threw down a 51.764-second blitz around the Sanki Sliding Center to claim his second straight gold medal by .476 of a second on aggregate time over Russia’s Albert Demtschenko.

Behind them was Italy’s Armin Zoeggeler, who won the bronze and became the first Olympian – Summer or Winter – to win six consecutive medals in the same individual event.

WATCH: Loch dominates in men’s singles

His bronze at Sochi now joins two more from Lillehammer (1994) and Vancouver (2010), one silver from Nagano (1998) and a pair of golds from Salt Lake City (2002) and Torino (2006).

Those men were the last competitors to take their fourth and final runs overall, with Zoeggeler beginning the game of “top this” with a time of 51.994 seconds. But with the Russian crowd firmly behind him, Demtschenko followed and eclipsed the Italian with a time of 51.854 seconds.

MORE: Four-time Summer Olympian Ato Bolden to learn luge

Then, with the spotlight on him, Loch came through in the clutch with a final run that nipped Demtschenko’s by a mere 88 one-thousandths of a second.

Still, the 42-year-old Demtschenko has claimed his first Olympic medal in eight years, adding another silver to the one he got behind Zoeggeler at Torino.

Chris Mazdzer of the U.S. finished 13th overall to lead the Americans.

Final standings w/aggregate time across four runs
1. Felix Loch (GER), 3:27.526
2. Albert Demtschenko (RUS), 3:28.002
3. Armin Zoeggeler (ITA), 3:28.797

13. Chris Mazdzer (USA), 3:29.954
22. Tucker West (USA), 3:31.217
24. Aidan Kelly (USA), 3:31.799

South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun

Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei

World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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