Luge - Sochi 2014 sport profile

A guide to luge at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Eurosport
Luge - Sochi 2014 sport profile
.

View photo

Corinna Martini luge

THE COMPETITION:

Four gold medals are up for grabs. Individual competitions for men and women in the singles are held over two days with two runs per day. The four times are added together, and the fastest total time determines the winner.

The doubles is a one-day competition, in which the fastest total time of two runs determines the winner. There is no written rule that says a team must comprise members of the same sex, but men traditionally ride together.

The team relay will be introduced at the Sochi Games for the first time and will feature one woman, one man and one doubles team from each nation sliding back-to-back-to-back runs. At the finish each athlete must touch the special touch pad, which automatically opens the in-run gate for the next team member.

HISTORY:

Germany have been the dominant sliders in the sport since luge was introduced at the 1964 Innsbruck Winter Olympics.

German great Georg Hackl won three golds and two silvers between 1988 and 2006. Italian Armin Zoeggeler, 40, also has five medals, including two golds, and if he makes the podium in Sochi he will become the first Winter Olympian to win six medals in a single event.

Considered to be one of the most dangerous Olympic winter sports, the 2010 Games were overshadowed by the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili on a training run on the day of the opening ceremony.

THE VENUE:

The Olympic track at the Sanki Sliding Centre winds its way across the northern slope of the Aibga Ridge with a finishing area located in Rzhanaya Polyana.

The overall length of the track is 1.814 metres, 314 of which are taken up by the braking area.

There are 17 curves with a vertical drop of some 132m from top to bottom, with its highest point being located at 836m above sea level and its lowest point at 704m.

There are three negative slopes to slow competitors down - with safety as the primary concern following the death of Kumaritashvili.

THE CONTENDERS:

Germany finished 1-2 in the men's singles through Felix Loch and David Moeller four years ago and Loch is hot favourite to take gold again having claimed this season's World Cup title.

Natalie Geisenberger has also clinched the season-long crown and if she can replicate that form will be hard to beat. Geisenberger took bronze in 2010 with team mate Tatjana Hufner winning gold.

Hufner is again a threat having overcome injury problems earlier in the season.

Russia's biggest medal hopes lie with Tatiana Ivanova and Albert Demchenko.

In the doubles, double Olympic champions Andreas and Wolfgang Linger of Austria seek a hat-trick with Germany's Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, and Latvia's Olympic silver medallists Andris Sics-Juris Sics also leading contenders.

View comments (0)
  • Reuters Sports Schedule at 0600 GMT on Thursday, Aug 25

    Reuters sports schedule at 0600 GMT on Thursday (times GMT): SOCCER Champions League group-stage draw MONACO - The biggest names in European club football will be among the 32 teams in the hat for the group stage draw of this season's Champions League. (SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/, expect by 1800 GMT/2 PM ET, by Brian Homewood, 400 words) Bundesliga Another season of Bayern dominance beckons BERLIN - Bayern Munich will be aiming for an unprecedented fifth successive Bundesliga title in the season which kicks off on Friday and there seems little that can stop them. ... More »

    Reuters - 43 minutes ago
  • Neymar Jr celebrates son David Lucca's 5th birthday with adorable photo

    Neymar Jr celebrates son David Lucca's 5th birthday with adorable photo

    Neymar Jr took to social media to celebrate his son's 5th birthday. The Brazilian footballer has shared a photo of himself with his son David Lucca on Instagram. The photo shared by the proud father shows the duo in Brazilian football team jersey. More »

    International Business Times - 54 minutes ago
  • The 10 most important things in the world right now

    The 10 most important things in the world right now

    2. JPMorgan estimates that Apple could be on the hook for as much as $19 billion (£14.3 billion) in taxes following an investigation by the European Commission, the Financial Times reports. The commission is accusing Apple of striking a sweetheart tax deal with Ireland, in which the iPhone maker would move its profits to wholly owned Irish subsidiaries to reduce its corporate taxes. 3. Colombia's government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) say they have reached a deal to end a 52-year civil conflict. The agreement, which marks the end of Latin America's last major guerrilla struggle, must still be approved by voters in a nationwide plebiscite, or referendum. More »

    Business Insider UK - 1 hour 45 minutes ago
  • Krishna: How I made Olympic Games history

    Krishna: How I made Olympic Games history

    The Fijian forward is hoping to take his momentum from Rio 2016 into the 2016-17 A-League season with Wellington Phoenix More »

    Goal.com - 2 hours 11 minutes ago
  • Chicharito injury hurts but will help Mexico see future

    Chicharito injury hurts but will help Mexico see future

    Mexico needs Chicharito up top, but with the forward out because of a broken hand, there's a chance for another player to stake a claim for time with El Tri. More »

    Goal.com - 3 hours ago