Erin Hamlin’s bronze is first U.S. medal in singles luge

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Erin Hamlin has succeded in her bid to make history for U.S. Olympic luge.

Hamlin entered today’s final two runs at the Sanki Sliding Center in position to win the bronze, and she was able to hang on for it, earning the inaugural Olympic medal for the U.S. in singles’ luge competition. The Americans’ four previous luge medals had all come in doubles.

Third-to-last in the starting order for the last run, Hamlin momentarily went to the top of the overall charts with a time of 50.348 seconds that completed her four-run aggregate time of 3:21.145. Upon learning of her time, Hamlin threw her hands in the air in joy as the American contingent at Sanki cheered.

The next woman out, 2010 Olympic champion Tatjana Huefner of Germany, took P1 from Hamlin with a time of 50.279 seconds, making for a four-run aggregate of 3:20.907.

But Huefner’s teammate, Natalie Geisenberger, saved the best for last as she turned in a time of 50.189 seconds to claim the gold over Huefner by 1.139 seconds overall. Hamlin wound up 1.377 seconds back of Geisenberger and .433 of a second ahead of fourth-place finisher Alex Gough of Canada.

With the bronze, Hamlin, the 2009 world champion and three-time Olympian, erases a disappointing 16th-place finish four years ago at Vancouver.

The other two Americans earned Top-15 finishes, with Kate Hansen in 10th and Summer Britcher in 15th.

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WOMEN’S LUGE – SINGLES
FINAL STANDINGS (aggregate time across four runs)
1. Natalie Geisenberger (GER), 3:19.768
2. Tatjana Huefner (GER), +1.139 seconds
3. Erin Hamlin (USA), +1.377 seconds

10. Kate Hansen (USA), +2.899 seconds
15. Summer Britcher (USA), +4.375 seconds