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Luge at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Games:

Men's Singles

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Host City: Grenoble, France
Venue(s): Luge Track, Villard-de-Lans
Date Started: February 11, 1968
Date Finished: February 13, 1968
Format: Three runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: AUT Manfred Schmid
Silver: GDR Thomas Köhler
Bronze: GDR Klaus-Michael Bonsack

Summary

Although the Germans, who dominated the podium in 1964, were now split into East and West Germany, their lugers were still the best in the world. Innsbruck bronze medallist Hans Plenk (West German) had won the 1965 World Championships, while defending Olympic champion Thomas Köhler won the 1967 title (the 1966 championships were cancelled due to bad weather). Other German medal hopes were 1967 European Champion Leonhard Nagenrauft and Köhler's double partner, Klaus-Michael Bonsack, also the 1964 silver medallist. But the Germans were upset by Austria's Manfred Schmid. Schmid was mostly known for his silver medal in the doubles at the 1967 World Championships, and not considered a potential medallist at Villard-de-Lans. On unpaid leave from his job as a metal worker, he surprisingly mingled with the top Germans in the training runs. Schmid's father died on the day before the first run was finally held (after several days delay due to poor weather), but Schmid decided to compete anyway. His 57.16-second run was 0.14 faster than Plenk, and much faster than the East Germans. Köhler and Bonsack countered in the second and third runs, but a showdown in the 4th run was not to be when the organizers decided to cancel the final run, declaring Schmid Olympic Champion.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Manfred Schmid 23 Austria AUT Gold 2:52.48
2 Thomas Köhler 27 East Germany GDR Silver 2:52.66
3 Klaus-Michael Bonsack 26 East Germany GDR Bronze 2:53.33
4 Zbigniew Gawior 21 Poland POL 2:53.51
5 Josef Feistmantl 28 Austria AUT 2:53.57
6 Hans Plenk 29 West Germany FRG 2:53.67
7 Horst Hörnlein 22 East Germany GDR 2:54.10
8 Jerzy Wojnar 37 Poland POL 2:54.62
9 Leonhard Nagenrauft 29 West Germany FRG 2:54.71
10 Emilio Lechner 27 Italy ITA 2:55.10
11 Wolfgang Winkler 27 West Germany FRG 2:55.35
12 Giovanni Graber 28 Italy ITA 2:55.56
13 Lucjan Kudzia 26 Poland POL 2:55.91
14 Helmut Thaler 28 Austria AUT 2:56.05
15 Jan Hamřík 27 Czechoslovakia TCH 2:56.06
16 Sigisfredo Mair 28 Italy ITA 2:56.18
17 Fritz Nachmann 38 West Germany FRG 2:56.41
18 Raimondo Prinoth 23 Italy ITA 2:56.85
19 Rolf Greger Strøm 27 Norway NOR 2:56.99
20 František Halíř 17 Czechoslovakia TCH 2:57.10
21 Jan-Axel Strøm 22 Norway NOR 2:57.14
22 Tadeusz Radwan 22 Poland POL 2:57.23
23 Jan Nilsson 20 Sweden SWE 2:57.91
24 Horst Urban 31 Czechoslovakia TCH 2:58.38
25 Hans Sahlin 21 Sweden SWE 2:58.46
26 Kim Layton 25 United States USA 2:58.64
27 Roland Urban 27 Czechoslovakia TCH 2:59.03
28 Jim Murray 21 United States USA 3:00.00
29 Georges Tresallet 30 France FRA 3:00.37
30 Mike Hessel 25 United States USA 3:00.62
31 Roger Eddy 21 Canada CAN 3:01.39
32 Ivar Bjare 24 Sweden SWE 3:02.80
33 Larry Arbuthnot 20 Canada CAN 3:03.01
34 Per-Ulf Helander 32 Sweden SWE 3:03.12
35 Jean-Pierre De Petro 28 France FRA 3:03.53
36 Werner Sele 16 Liechtenstein LIE 3:03.88
37 Colin Nelson 25 Canada CAN 3:04.56
38 Ion Pervilhac 20 France FRA 3:06.42
39 Richard Liversedge 27 Great Britain GBR 3:07.04
40 James Manclark 28 Great Britain GBR 3:07.94
41 Simon Beck 20 Liechtenstein LIE 3:11.65
42 Jesús Gatell 24 Spain ESP 3:11.78
43 Jorge Monjo 23 Spain ESP 3:13.65
44 Jorge Roura 21 Spain ESP 3:13.97
45 Luis Omedes 30 Spain ESP 3:25.14
46 Robin Partch 23 United States USA 3:29.67
47 D'Arcy Coulson 31 Canada CAN 3:36.12
AC Julius Schädler 26 Liechtenstein LIE DNF
AC Peter Kretauer 20 Austria AUT DQ
AC Wolfgang Scheidel 24 East Germany GDR DQ