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Rediff.com  » Sports » Luger Shiva Keshavan makes history with Asia Cup gold

Luger Shiva Keshavan makes history with Asia Cup gold

Last updated on: December 19, 2011 09:51 IST

Luger Shiva Keshavan makes history with Asia Cup gold

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Shiva Keshavan did India and himself proud on Sunday, winning the Asia Cup 2011 luge title with a new continental speed record in Nagano, Japan, on Sunday.

The 30-year-old son of an Indian father from Kerala and Italian mother eclipsed the previous Asian mark of 131.9 kph, clocking 134.3 kph.

In the process, he relegated defending champion Takahisa Oguchi of Japan to second place and became the first non-Japanese to win the crown.


Photographs: Getty Images

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Keshavan sets record

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A Winter Olympic sport since 1964, luge involves a high-speed sled ride through a semi-circular ice track.

Keshavan was India's sole Indian entrant at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Games and part of a four-member team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. He was placed 28th at the Games in Nagano (1998) as a 16-year-old, the youngest ever luge Olympian, and 33rd at Salt Lake City in 2002.

On Sunday, Keshavan, who emerged the fastest Asian at the Vancouver Olympics last year, clocked 50.162 seconds in the first run, just 0.09 seconds off the track record, and 50.221s in the next. That fetched him an overall timing of 1:40:383, well better than Oguchi's tally of 1:40.861s.


Photographs: Getty Images

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I can perform even better: Keshavan

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After becoming India's first gold medal winner in an international winter sports meet, was delighted. He thanked his supporters and sponsors, saying, "It was a fantastic race. I am very happy to have won the gold for India."

"I know I can perform even better and hope to break the remaining track records next time," added India's flag-bearer on ice.


Photographs: Getty Images
Tags: India , Keshavan

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