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

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell

At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich

A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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