Winter Olympics: David Gleirscher claims Austria's first men's luge gold in 50 years after Felix Loch error

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'Loch has blown it' - German luge favourite misses out on medals
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

David Gleirscher claimed Austria's first men's luge gold in 50 years after a mistake by defending champion Felix Loch on the very last run.

Loch led going into the final round and looked set to match fellow German Georg Hackl's record of winning three straight luge golds.

But he dropped out of the medals to gift American Chris Mazdzer the silver and German Johannes Ludwig the bronze.

Team GB pair AJ Rosen and Rupert Staudinger were ranked 22nd and 33rd.

Loch led after the first two runs on day one in Pyeongchang and the 28-year-old remained in front after run three.

The final round was then going to form until Loch clipped the track wall, which took enough off his cumulative time for him to finish fifth overall and gift Gleirscher gold.

"I can't believe it, it's just a magic moment," said Gleirscher. "I just brought down a good run and I am just happy that this happened.

"In the first moment I thought Felix is going to be Olympic champion, and then he made a mistake.

"It's just magic, I can't describe this, it's just unbelievable."

The last Austrian to win the men's luge was Manfred Schmid at Grenoble in 1968.

Gleirscher, 23, is making his Olympic debut and has not yet earned a top-three finish on the World Cup circuit.

He posted the quickest time in run one, only to be pushed down the rankings by Loch and then Mazdzer during run three.

Gleirscher's final run put him back above Mazdzer, who was still overjoyed to become the first American to win a men's luge medal, while Loch's error also handed Ludwig his first Olympic medal.


Skeleton 2010 gold medallist Amy Williams

Felix Loch was absolutely gutted. He couldn't even get off the sled. Germany are so good in the sport because they have so much but that shows the pressure of an Olympic event.

He was the last one to go down, knowing he was in gold medal position and he just makes that one mistake at a key part.

You have to get your angles in and out of corners perfect. He can't get back on the correct line and once you have made a mistake this track is not forgiving. It goes to show, you can have all the experience...

Until the last man is down, you don't know where the medals will go.

Felix Loch
Felix Loch was consoled on the track by his father Norbert after missing out on a third straight men's luge gold

British pair fail to go the distance

Rosen finished 16th in both 2006 and 2010 but no British luge athlete managed to qualify for Sochi 2014.

Luge therefore received no UK Sport funding for the 2018 cycle, while skeleton earned £6.5m after gold medals in 2010 and 2014.

Although Rosen returned for his third Olympics in Pyeongchang, this time he failed to make the cut for the final run.

The American-born 33-year-old was ranked 24th after day one but his third run wasn't enough to edge him into the top 20.

Staudinger, who at 20 was making his Olympic debut, maintained his overnight ranking of 33rd after also finishing with his best time yet.


Two-time Olympic bobsleigher John Jackson

There is no difference at all in the lines from Adam Rosen and the likes of Felix Loch but there is a difference in time because they have not got the funding to get the right equipment.

He should hold his head high because he is one of the best sliders in the competition and one of the most consistent. He has beaten the track on every one but the equipment is just not up to the job.

Luge GB Tweet
Luge GB's budget is a fraction of that in countries where the sport is better established, such as Germany

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