Luge at the 2010 Winter Olympics – Women's singles

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Women's singles
at the XXI Olympic Winter Games
Women's Luge Medal ceremony at 2010 Olympic Winter Games.jpg
Photo of the medal ceremony
Venue Whistler Sliding Centre
Dates 15–16 February
Competitors 29 from 13 nations
Winning time 2:46.524
Medalists
1st, gold medalist(s) Tatjana Hüfner  Germany
2nd, silver medalist(s) Nina Reithmayer  Austria
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Natalie Geisenberger  Germany
← 2006
2014 →
Luge at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Luge pictogram.svg
Events
Singles  men  women
Doubles  doubles

The women's luge at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada took place on 15–16 February at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, British Columbia.[1] Germany's Sylke Otto was the two-time defending Olympic champion.[2] Otto retired midway through the 2006-07 season in January 2007 to pregnancy and after suffering a crash at the track in Königssee, Germany.[3] Erin Hamlin of the United States was the defending world champion.[4] The test event that took place at the venue was won by Germany's Natalie Geisenberger.[5] The last World Cup event prior to the 2010 games took place in Cesana, Italy on 31 January 2010 and was won by Geisenberger.[6] Geisenberger's teammate Tatjana Hüfner, the defending Olympic bronze medalist,[2] won the overall World Cup for 2009-10 season in women's singles.[7]

Records[edit]

While the IOC does not consider luge times eligible for Olympic records, the International Luge Federation (FIL) does maintain records for both the start and a complete run at each track it competes.

These records were set during the test event at the women's singles/ men's doubles start house for the 2010 Games on 20 February 2009.

Type[5] Date Athlete Time
Start 20 February 2009  Natalie Geisenberger (GER) 7.183
Track 20 February 2009  Natalie Geisenberger (GER) 48.992

Death of Nodar Kumaritashvili[edit]

During training on February 12, 2010, Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili was going at over 143 kilometres per hour (89 mph) when he crashed in the last turn and hit a steel pole. He was administered CPR at the track, then taken away to hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Training was immediately stopped.[8] As a result, the start of the men's single competition was moved to the women's/doubles' start to reduce speed and the wall at corner where Kumaritashvili crashed was raised.[9]

Investigations were conducted the same day, concluding that the accident was not caused by deficiencies in the track. A joint statement was issued by the FIL, the International Olympic Committee, and the Vancouver Organizing Committee over Kurmaitasvili's death with training suspended for the rest of that day.[10] According to the Coroners Service of British Columbia and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the cause was to Kumaritashvili coming out of turn 15 late and not compensating for turn 16.[11] Because of this fatality, an extra 40 yd (37 m) of wall was added after the end of turn 16 and the ice profile was changed.[11] It also moved the men's singles luge event from its starthouse to the one for both the women's singles and men's doubles event.[12] Kumaritashvili is the first Olympic athlete to die at the Winter Olympics in training since 1992[12] and the first luger to die in a practice event at the Winter Olympics since Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski of Great Britain was killed at the luge track used for the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck.[13] It was also luge's first fatality (on an artificial track[14]) since 10 December 1975, when an Italian luger was killed.[15] Kumaritavili's teammate Levan Gureshidze withdrew prior to the first run of the event.[14]

Women's singles and men's doubles start was moved to the Junior start house of the track, located after turn 6.[16] Germany's Geisenberger complained that it was not a women's start but more of a kinder ("child" in German) start. Her teammate Hüfner who had the fastest speed on two runs of 82.3 mph (132.4 km/h) stated that the new start position "..does not help good starters like myself".[16] American Erin Hamlin stated the track was still demanding even after the distance was lessened from 1,193 to 953 m (3,914 to 3,127 ft) and that you were still hitting 80 mph (130 km/h).[16]

On 23 March 2010, FIL President Fendt, VANOC President John Furlong, 2010 men's singles gold medalist Felix Loch of Germany visited Kumaritashvili's grave in his hometown of Bakuriani to pay respects as part of tradition in the Georgian Orthodox Church.[17]

The FIL published their report in regards to Kumaritashvili's death after the FIL Commissions Meeting in St. Leonhard, Austria (near Salzburg) for both sport and technical commissions on 9–11 April 2010.[18] This report was prepared by FIL Secretary General Svein Romstad and Vice President Claire DelNegro, who are from the United States.[18]

Qualifying athletes[edit]

These are the athletes who qualified for the women's singles event as of 4 February 2010.[19]

Results[edit]

The first two runs took place on 15 February at 17:00 PST and 18:30 PST.[1] On 16 February, the final two runs took place at 13:00 PST and 14:30 PST.[1]

Julia Clukey during one of runs on the first day of the competition

First run start order was released on the morning of 15 February 2010.[20]

Romania's Violeta Stramturaru was knocked unconscious on 11 February 2010 after slamming into several walls during a training run.[21] She was strapped to a backboard and placed on a stretcher though her arms were moving.[21] Stramuraru's sister Raluca, who had completed her run before her sister and made it through without issue, rushed to the end of the observation deck to see if she was okay as the public address announcer directed medical personnel to the scene.[21] American Sweeney, sliding after Violeta, went airborne prior to the final curve and crashed though she walked away shaken up.[21] Violeta later withdrew prior to the event while Raluca would finish 21st.

Yasuda was disqualified after the first run after her post-competition weigh in for having too heavy a sled. Her sled weighed 13.3 kg (29.3 lb) when the maximum allowed by the FIL is 13.1 kg (28.9 lb)[22] Romania's Chiras crashed out during the second run, the only crash during the actual competition. Šišajová caused a sensation when she went airborne during the fourth run on Turn 13 though she managed to stay on her sled.[23] Prior to her fourth run, Hüfner took a nap to ease her nervousness.[23] Geisenberger's final run was delayed when a track-side photographer accidentally set off a water hose.[23]

Defending World Champion Hamlin finished a disappointing 16th. Hüfner followed up her bronze at the 2006 Winter Olympics with gold in this Olympics. Reithmeyer, who finished eighth at Turin, earned her best career finish and became the first non-German to medal in this event at the Winter Olympics since fellow Austrian Angelika Neuner won bronze at Nagano in 1998.[23][24] Defending European champion Ivanova finished fourth on her 19th birthday. The margin of victory was the largest since 1994.[24]

Two-time Olympic champion Otto commented to Reuters that "Tatti (Hüfner's nickname) is a very strong slider and still relatively young so she could achieve what I did and win this again.”[23]

Canada's Gough commented on the 14th in the wake of Kumaritashvili's death two days earlier that "We’ve got the world championships here in a few years (2013) so hopefully we can actually have a race." instead of the start at the Junior start house.[23]

Time listed at top in italics is start time while time below is the track time. SR - Start Record. TR - Track Record. Top finishes in both times are in boldface.

Rank Bib Athlete Country Run 1[25] Run 2[26] Run 3[27] Run 4[28] Total Behind
1st, gold medalist(s) 6 Tatjana Hüfner  Germany 8.437
41.760
8.370
41.481
8.377
41.666
8.363
41.617
2:46.524 0.000
2nd, silver medalist(s) 2 Nina Reithmayer  Austria 8.413
41.728
8.403
41.563
8.448
41.884
8.458
41.839
2:47.014 +0.490
3rd, bronze medalist(s) 10 Natalie Geisenberger  Germany 8.410
41.743
8.383
41.657
8.372
41.800
8.401
41.901
2:47.101 +0.577
4 23 Tatiana Ivanova  Russia 8.417
41.816
8.377
41.601
8.406
41.914
8.395
41.850
2:47.181 +0.657
5 9 Anke Wischnewski  Germany 8.431
41.785
8.406
41.685
8.452
41.894
8.429
41.889
2:47.253 +0.729
6 8 Alexandra Rodionova  Russia 8.416
41.828
8.420
41.731
8.434
41.984
8.446
41.913
2:47.456 +0.932
7 3 Martina Kocher  Switzerland 8.449
42.005
8.357
41.697
8.412
41.976
8.405
41.897
2:47.575 +1.051
8 29 Ewelina Staszulonek  Poland 8.521
41.975
8.506
41.816
8.504
41.948
8.517
41.882
2:47.621 +1.097
9 16 Maija Tīruma  Latvia 8.465
41.773
8.518
41.933
8.501
42.012
8.471
41.936
2:47.654 +1.130
10 24 Natalia Khoreva  Russia 8.444
41.932
8.427
41.785
8.464
42.175
8.442
42.092
2:47.984 +1.460
11 1 Natalya Yakuchenko  Ukraine 8.478
42.119
8.473
41.809
8.539
42.132
8.489
42.026
2:48.086 +1.562
12 7 Veronika Halder  Austria 8.570
42.015
8.574
41.881
8.563
42.078
8.615
42.143
2:48.117 +1.593
13 26 Anna Orlova  Latvia 8.512
41.998
8.546
41.947
8.569
42.260
8.531
42.100
2:48.305 +1.781
14 17 Veronika Sabolová  Slovakia 8.463
41.999
8.488
41.925
8.588
42.563
8.482
42.055
2:48.542 +2.018
15 13 Regan Lauscher  Canada 8.700
42.368
8.670
42.289
8.564
42.211
8.546
42.153
2:49.021 +2.497
16 11 Erin Hamlin  United States 8.461
41.835
8.640
42.219
8.826
42.792
8.661
42.262
2:49.108 +2.584
17 12 Julia Clukey  United States 8.456
42.059
8.546
42.075
8.615
42.472
8.756
42.754
2:49.360 +2.836
18 5 Alex Gough  Canada 8.711
42.275
8.775
42.411
8.636
42.346
8.673
42.359
2:49.391 +2.867
19 15 Liliya Ludan  Ukraine 8.660
42.312
8.650
42.302
8.699
42.477
8.669
42.364
2:49.455 +2.931
20 14 Sandra Gasparini  Italy 8.540
42.339
8.550
42.161
8.733
42.881
8.676
42.621
2:50.002 +3.478
21 22 Raluca Strămăturaru  Romania 8.593
42.475
8.603
42.198
8.631
42.815
8.631
42.584
2:50.072 +3.548
22 4 Megan Sweeney  United States 8.623
42.450
8.717
42.690
8.647
42.625
8.683
42.450
2:50.215 +3.691
23 28 Hannah Campbell-Pegg  Australia 8.670
42.527
8.679
42.570
8.663
42.606
8.633
42.519
2:50.222 +3.698
24 27 Agnese Koklaca  Latvia 8.541
42.627
8.578
42.334
8.593
43.091
8.595
42.336
2:50.388 +3.864
25 20 Meaghan Simister  Canada 8.663
42.524
8.658
42.497
8.703
42.787
8.697
42.662
2:50.470 +3.946
26 18 Madoka Harada  Japan 8.716
42.608
8.594
42.112
8.674
42.572
8.920
43.188
2:50.480 +3.956
27 19 Jana Šišajová  Slovakia 8.610
42.297
8.560
42.172
8.630
42.529
8.645
48.101
2:55.099 +8.575
25 Mihaela Chiras  Romania 8.692
43.494
8.615
DNF
DNF
21 Aya Yasuda  Japan DSQ

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 2010 Winter Olympics Luge schedule. - accessed 8 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b FIL-Luge.org Winter Olympic medalists: 1964-2006. - accessed 8 November 2009.
  3. ^ Sylke Otto retires immediately. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (12 January 2007 article accessed 8 November 2009.)
  4. ^ FIL-Luge.org World Luge championship medalists: 1955-2009. - accessed 8 November 2009.
  5. ^ a b FIL Luge World Cup Whistler 20 February 2009 women's singles result. - accessed 8 November 2009.
  6. ^ FIL Luge World Cup Cesana 31 January 2010 women's singles results. - accessed 31 January 2010.
  7. ^ Natalie Geisenberger wins Season's final in Viessmann Luge World Cup. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (31 January 2010 article accessed 31 January 2010.)
  8. ^ ZINSER, LYNN (February 12, 2010). "Luge Athlete Killed in Training Crash at Olympics". New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Officials delay reopening of sliding track". CTV. February 13, 2010. 
  10. ^ Joined Statement of IOC, FIL, and VANOC. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (12 February 2010 article accessed 13 February 2010.
  11. ^ a b Joint VANOC-FIL Statement on Men's Luge Competition. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (13 February 2010 article accessed 13 February 2010.)
  12. ^ a b "Men's Olympic lugers will start lower on track". - 12 February 2010 NBCOlympics.com article accessed 13 February 2010.
  13. ^ "Luge (Toboggan): Men". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. (2009). David Wallechinsky and Jaime Loucky, Editor. London: Aurum Press Limited. p. 158.
  14. ^ a b "Georgian luger Levan Gureshidze pulls out of event". BBC News. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  15. ^ "Luge start moved as officials defend Whistler Sliding track". Vancouver2010.com. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c "Luge-Women sliders now have kids race - German". Martyn Herman (Reuters via Yahoo! Sports). (14 February 2010 article accessed 14 February 2010.
  17. ^ VANOC President Furlong, FIL President Fendt and Olympic champion Loch. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (25 March 2010 article accessed 27 March 2010.)
  18. ^ a b FIL Final Report to be published after Commissions meetings. at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (25 March 2010 article accessed 27 March 2010.)
  19. ^ Vancouver2010.com luge athletes. - accessed 4 February 2010.
  20. ^ 2010 Winter Olympics 15 February 2010 Luge women's single start. - accessed 15 February 2010.
  21. ^ a b c d "Romanian women's luger hurt in crash" - 11 February 2010 Tom Withers (AP) Yahoo! Sports article accessed 23 February 2010.
  22. ^ "Japan's slender slider has weighty problem". - 16 February 2010 Yahoo! Sports article accessed 16 February 2010.
  23. ^ a b c d e f "Huefner's power nap leads to a golden dream". - Martyn Herman's Yahoo! Sports 16 February 2010 article accessed 17 February 2010.
  24. ^ a b Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Luge (Toboggan): Women". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press Limited. p. 172.
  25. ^ 2010 Winter Olympics 15 February 2010 Luge women's singles run 1 results. - accessed 16 February 2010.
  26. ^ 2010 Winter Olympics 15 February 2010 Luge women's singles run 2 results. - accessed 16 February 2010.
  27. ^ 2010 Winter Olympics 16 February 2010 Luge women's singles run 3 results. - accessed 16 February 2010.
  28. ^ 2010 Winter Olympics 16 February Luge women's singles run 4 results. Archived 2010-04-08 at the Wayback Machine. - accessed 17 February 2010.