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Rediff.com  » Sports » Luger Keshavan virtually out of contention at Winter Games

Luger Keshavan virtually out of contention at Winter Games

February 09, 2014 05:32 IST

SHiva Keshavan during his routine at the GamesIndia's Shiva Keshavan brought up the rear after two rounds of men's singles luge competition, finishing 37th out of 39 athletes at the Sochi Winter Games, on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Indian, who represented India in four Olympic Games, is virtually out of medal contention, having clocked 1:49.108 (53.905 + 55.203) after the first two heats at the Sanki Sliding Center.

Keshavan, who is competing under the IOC flag as an Independent Olympic participant due to the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association, ranked 35th and 38th in the first two heats respectively.

He is currently 3.239 behind Germany's Felix Loch, who clocked 1:44.149 (52.185 + 51.964) after the first two heats to emerge as the leader.

The third and fourth heat is scheduled for Sunday.

The four timings of the heats are added, and the luger who has the fastest aggregate time is crowned winner.

On Saturday, Keshavan had pulled off an incredible recovery during training when he slipped off his sled, fell on his stomach and glided down the track before managing to get a hold of his sled, flipping himself onto it and continuing the run.

Keshavan set a new Asian speed record at 134.3 km/h and won gold medal in Asia Cup 2011 at Nagano in Japan. In 2012, he retained the Asian title by winning the gold medal at the Asia Cup in Nagano and setting a new Asian track record at 49.590 seconds. He, however, had to be content with the silver medal in the same event in 2013.

Image: Independent Olympic Participant Shiva Keshavan makes a run during the Luge men's singles on Day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sliding Center Sanki.

Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images