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Luge at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games:

Men's Singles

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Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler
Date Started: February 13, 2010
Date Finished: February 14, 2010
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: GER Felix Loch
Silver: GER David Möller
Bronze: ITA Armin Zöggeler

Summary

The dominating presences of the 2009-2010 World Cup season had been two veteran competitors. Armin Zöggeler, 36-year-old Olympic champion at both Salt Lake City and Torino and perenniel contender Albert Demchenko of Russia. Behind them came a plethora of German talent including reigning world champion Felix Loch and former champion David Möller.

Following the tragic death of Nodar Kumaritashvili in practice, the men’s course was shortened to start where the women normally started. Whilst the 178 metres may not sound a great distance, it changed the nature of the competition as it favoured the competitors with a powerful start over those who relied more on the technical skills of driving round a course to gain time. Felix Loch (GER), the world champion from 2008 and 2009, led from the start, and with the leading time from each of the four runs ended with a combined time of 3:13.085. He was followed closely by David Möller (GER), who had the second fastest time in each run, to finish 0.679 seconds behind Loch. Reigning champion from 2002 and 2006, Armin Zöggeler (ITA), who favoured the longer, more technical courses, had the third fastest run on his first two runs. Although his third and fourth runs saw him being the 6th and 4th fastest of the competitors respectively, his combined time of 3:14.375 was enough to give him the bronze medal. This was Zöggeler’s fifth successive Olympic medal, which tied the record of Georg Hackl, and brought his career to an end with a final total of five Olympic (2 gold), 14 World Championship (5 gold), 11 European Championships (3 gold) medals added to nine victories in the season long Word Cup series.

Loch, the son of the president of Germany’s national Luge Federation, had a strange relationship with the Whistler track. His first visit in 2008 had left him in hospital with an injured shoulder but on returning in 2009 a speed trap recorded him at 153.98 km/h (95.68 mph), the fastest speed ever recorded in the sport. At 20-years-old he added the distinction of being the sport’s youngest ever Olympic champion to that of being the youngest ever World Champion.

In last place (38th), was the 47-year-old Argentine Rubén González. This was González’s 4th Winter Games with each appearance coming in a different decade.

Most importantly, in view of the disastrous start to the Olympic programme, was that all those who started came safely home.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Felix Loch 20 Germany GER Gold 3:13.085
2 David Möller 28 Germany GER Silver 3:13.764
3 Armin Zöggeler 36 Italy ITA Bronze 3:14.375
4 Albert Demchenko 38 Russia RUS 3:14.405
5 Andi Langenhan 25 Germany GER 3:14.629
6 Daniel Pfister 23 Austria AUT 3:14.726
7 Sam Edney 25 Canada CAN 3:14.840
8 Tony Benshoof 34 United States USA 3:15.128
9 Wolfgang Kindl 21 Austria AUT 3:15.215
10 Manuel Pfister 21 Austria AUT 3:15.269
11 Mārtiņš Rubenis 31 Latvia LAT 3:15.668
12 Viktor Kneyb 29 Russia RUS 3:15.732
13 Chris Mazdzer 21 United States USA 3:15.813
14 Jeff Christie 27 Canada CAN 3:15.823
15 Bengt Walden 36 United States USA 3:15.984
16 AJ Rosen 25 Great Britain GBR 3:16.016
17 David Mair 25 Italy ITA 3:16.199
18 Inārs Kivlenieks 23 Latvia LAT 3:16.204
19 Stepan Fyodorov 22 Russia RUS 3:16.217
20 Ian Cockerline 25 Canada CAN 3:16.243
21 Reinhold Rainer 36 Italy ITA 3:16.334
22 Thomas Girod 26 France FRA 3:16.850
23 Maciej Kurowski 23 Poland POL 3:17.027
24 Jozef Ninis 28 Slovakia SVK 3:17.114
25 Ondřej Hyman 23 Czech Republic CZE 3:17.389
26 Guntis Rēķis 35 Latvia LAT 3:17.447
27 Domen Pociecha 24 Slovenia SLO 3:17.746
28 Jakub Hyman 25 Czech Republic CZE 3:17.801
29 Shiva Keshavan 28 India IND 3:18.473
30 Takahisa Oguchi 31 Japan JPN 3:19.043
31 Valentin Creţu 20 Romania ROU 3:19.475
32 Stefan Höhener 29 Switzerland SUI 3:20.838
33 Bogdan Macovei 27 Moldova MDA 3:21.354
34 Ma Chih-Hung 24 Chinese Taipei TPE 3:22.362
35 Petar Iliev 25 Bulgaria BUL 3:22.398
36 Lee Yong 31 South Korea KOR 3:23.296
37 Ivan Papukchiev 23 Bulgaria BUL 3:23.332
38 Rubén González 47 Argentina ARG 3:28.000