Host City: Nagano, Japan
Venue(s): The Spiral, Asakawa, Nagano
Date Started: February 8, 1998
Date Finished: February 9, 1998
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
In truth little had changed since the Lillehammer Games and the same men who contested the medals in 1992 and 1994 were expected to challenge again in Nagano. In eight of the previous 11 years [Markus Prock] of Austria had won the World Cup overall title by accumulating the most points in a season but only once in the nineties had he beat reigning Olympic champion [Georg Hackl] of Germany in a major championship. Their rivalry was a classic duel between Prock, the natural talent, and the relentless Hackl whose concentration levels were legendary.
The younger generation of lugers was represented by 24-year-old [Armin Zöggeler] who had won the 1995 World Championships. Zöggeler had been the star of the season before Nagano and surprisingly Hackl had not won any of the six races before the Olympics.
Hackl arrived in Japan with a secret weapon in the shape of a pair of aerodynamically enhanced boots but even if the boots did give him an advantage it would be hard to deny that sheer talent won him the title. In fact Hackl’s most dangerous opponent was probably the jury of appeal but a complaint against the legality of his new boots by the North American teams was dismissed. The German was remarkably consistent and won all four runs each time recording a time over a tenth of a second faster than his rivals. Zöggeler and 1988 champion [Jens Müller] completed the podium with Markus Prock some distance behind them in fourth.
|6||Wendel Suckow||30||United States||USA||3:19.728|
|9||Adam Heidt||20||United States||USA||3:20.098|
|13||Larry Dolan||22||United States||USA||3:21.128|
|23||Ismar Biogradlić||23||Bosnia and Herzegovina||BIH||3:25.169|
|26||Ion Cristian Stanciu||24||Romania||ROU||3:26.523|
|29||Lee Gi-Ro||22||South Korea||KOR||3:34.721|
|30||Hsieh Hsiang-Chun||23||Chinese Taipei||TPE||3:34.769|
|31||Gang Gwang-Bae||24||South Korea||KOR||3:35.958|
|32||Lee Yong||19||South Korea||KOR||3:40.407|