Germany’s Johannes Ludwig claimed his second Olympic gold medal after emerging victorious with an imperious performance in the men’s luge at Beijing 2022.
The bronze medallist from Pyeongchang showed outstanding consistency to be the fastest athlete in three of the four heats, and added an individual gold to the one he won as part of Germany's relay team four years ago.
The 35-year-old Ludwig finished 0.16 seconds ahead of Wolfgang Kindl with a time of 3:48.735, as the Austrian took home silver and Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller claimed bronze, 0.95 seconds behind.
Beijing 2022
'The anguish!' - Slovakia crash out in heartbreaking fashion in luge team relay
10/02/2022 AT 16:46
In fact, the top three remained the same in both of the last two heats, as Ludwig came into the final round holding a narrow lead ahead of Kindl in second and Fischnaller third.
From a British perspective, Rupert Staudinger finished 23rd in the third heat with a time of 2:56.313 – agonisingly falling just short of Jonathan Gustafson’s time of 2:55.671 and missing out on a top-20 finish to secure progression.
There was frustration for defending Olympic champion David Gleirscher, who only finished 15th with a time of 3:53.172 after heading into the final run more than three seconds behind Ludwig. German great Felix Loch, the Olympic champion in 2010 and 2014, narrowly missed the podium this time as he finished fourth, less than 0.2 seconds away from the bronze medal.

Germany's Ludwig races to inspired gold with winning luge run

Latvia’s Gints Berzins deserved plenty of plaudits after clocking a time of 3:50.173 to claim seventh, with the 19-year-old more than holding his own among senior opponents following his gold medal at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games.
However, Berzins’ compatriot Kristers Aparjods was left lamenting a costly skid that denied him a podium finish and consigned him to fifth place.
Luge resumes again on Monday, when it is the turn of the women to do the first of their two singles runs at 11.50 UK time.
Stream the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games live and on demand on discovery+
Beijing 2022
'The most exciting luge race ever' - Williams says Germany's relay win will go down in history
10/02/2022 AT 16:32
Beijing 2022
'Literally the blink of a human eye' - Germany pip Austria in thrilling luge finish
10/02/2022 AT 16:32