David Gleirscher Wins Luge Gold Medal at Winter Olympics 2018

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2018

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11:  David Gleirscher of Austria celebrates winning the gold following run 4 during the Luge Men's Singles on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Olympic Sliding Centre on February 11, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Felix Loch's reign as king of the men's luge singles ended on Sunday as Austria's David Gleirscher capitalised on the German veteran's late stumble to win the top prize under shock circumstances.

Loch led heading into the fourth and final run of the men's luge singles, but a big error in his last attempt allowed Gleirscher to remain top of the pile and bring the title back to Austria after a long wait, per Gracenote Sports:

Chris Mazdzer of the United States clinched the silver medal after finishing 0.026 seconds slower than Gleirscher overall, while German Johannes Ludwig took the bronze.

Here's an updated look at the 2018 Winter Olympics medal table following Sunday's men's luge singles final:

Loch picked back up where he left off on Saturday and recorded an impressive third-run lap of 47.560 seconds, but Mazdzer emerged with the fastest time of any Run 3 to storm into second.

The United States representative still needed to bank on a slip from Loch to have any hope of tasting gold, but sports website The Field confirmed he at least achieved an individual feat with that sterling third attempt:

It all fell apart at the last run, and Gleirscher, who had been one of the sliders closely tracking the favourite, ended Loch's run of back-to-back gold medals in this event following a fast fourth run of 47.631 seconds.

Even that wasn't as quick as his third outing, but it was enough to see him edge Mazdzer and snatch the gold. Loch was left looking inconsolable on the track after his slip, per Firstpostsports:

Germany did at least have a representative on the podium thanks to Ludwig, who saved his best for last with a fourth run of 47.603 seconds, while his compatriot had to settle for fifth overall.

Canadian Reid Watts was by some distance the youngest competitor in the luge's fourth run at 19, and his last outing was enough to at least temporarily put him in the lead before the rest of the field came through.

There was major disappointment for world champion Wolfgang Kindl, with the Austrian expected to challenge Loch for the highest prize coming to Pyeongchang but failing to make the necessary impact in Sunday's final runs.

His third run was superior to either of the times he managed in Saturday's opening session, while American Tucker West looked out of sorts in a disappointing third run that dumped him out of the competition:

Only the top 20 fastest times advanced from the competition's third run into the decisive fourth.

India's Shiva Keshavan also missed out on a place in the qualifying order in his sixth appearance at the Winter Olympics, bowing out after a third-run time of 48.9 seconds, 20 years after his debut in Nagano.

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