India's veteran Winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan won a gold medal at the Asian Luge Championships at Altenberg, Germany on Friday. The sole Indian participant and defending Asian champion retained his title with a time of 55.60 seconds. Due to technical reasons, the Asian Luge Championships took place at Altenberg in Germany. In a race that was full of surprises, Keshavan started slow but recovered the lead after the second corner. There was a tense moment in the 'Infamous Curve 11-12 combination', also known as the 'Labyrinth', where Keshavan's sled started a sideways skid, but the Indian was able to bring it under control and retain the lead.
Last year's silver medallist from Korea, Kim Donghyeon, crashed in this same technical portion, but luckily came away with only minor injuries.
Shiva was followed by Lien Te-An of Taiwan (56.12 seconds) and Kim Dong Kyu of Korea (56.50 seconds) who bagged the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
"I am so proud to bring the gold medal back to India for the fourth time. The track is one of the most difficult in the world and I have had a few bad crashes here in the past. So it was a challenge on many levels. I want to thank all my sponsors and supporters, without who i really would not have made it this far," said Keshavan after the race.
The race, which was originally scheduled in Nagano, Japan, was shifted to the EisKanal in Germany due to technical issues at the Nagano 'Spiral' Venue that had adverse safety implications for the fastest Olympic sport on ice.
Keshavan will represent India at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Alpensia Sliding Centre at Pyeongchang in South Korea for his record sixth Olympics.