Surprise! Gleirscher wins, Mazdzer medals, Loch's reign ends

Olympics Luge

That left only the final run, and Mazdzer did exactly what he needed to do to snare the historic medal for the United States.

The 28-year-old Loch was on the verge of history in Pyeongchang, where he was just seconds away from becoming the sport's first four-time gold medallist.

This was the 36-year-old's sixth and final Olympic campaign, in which he did three runs of the 1.344 kilometre-long Alpensia Sliding Centre's luge track in two minutes and 28.188 seconds. But after two runs Saturday, he was 18 at the end of the day and out of medal contention.

Far more heartbreaking was Loch; he hopped just the tiniest bit on his final run, enough to drop him into fifth.

That opened the door for David Gleirscher of Austria who edged Mazdzer by.26 seconds for the gold.

No American had medaled in men's singles luge since the event's introduction to the Olympics in 1964, but Mazdzer sat in fourth place after Saturday's two runs at the PyeongChang Games.




After the first two runs on February 10, Loch led by 0.188 over Gleirscher and by 0.217 over Repilov.

In his third Winter Games, he finished 13th in 2010 and 2014, Mazdzer broke through with the performance he had been searching for on the world's biggest stage.

Long itself an underdog - if not an outright underachiever - USA Luge now has its first medal on the men's side, joining five previous medals won either in doubles competition or in women's singles.

Before Sunday, the highest an American had finished in the singles luge was fourth place.

The best the US had ever done in the Olympic event was fourth-place finishes by Tony Benshoof in 2006 and Adam Heidt in 2002. German Johannes Ludwig took bronze in his first Olympic appearance at age 31.

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