Shiva Keshavan wins silver in luge Asia Cup

Nagano (Japan), Dec 29 : Defending champion Shiva Keshavan won the silver medal at the 16th edition of the luge Asia Cup, clocking a total time of 1:39:750 seconds for two heats here Sunday.

Shiva, who was in good form, clocked the best start time and was leading in both runs until the mid-section of the track, the fourth intermediate time.

However, he lost the leading position in the last two splits to Japan's Hidenari Kanayama. Kanayama won the gold with a total time of 1:38:675 seconds. Shiva, however, retained his speed record at 134.3 kmph.

"I am very happy to be bringing the silver medal back to India. At one point we seemed far behind the competition but we kept making progress one small step at a time all week and kept fighting until the very last day.

"I am most satisfied that I managed to put down two solid runs on the race day and my start has been better than previous years.

"I seem to be losing a lot of time due to aerodynamics and some handling issues in the faster section but that is something that we will continue to work on.

"I want to thank my family, my sponsors, and all the people who have been constantly supporting me to have carried me this far," said Shiva.

With the Olympic Winter Games in 2014 coming closer, Shiva contemplated on his future prospects: "There is no doubt that we can do much better internationally. This race made us identify our strengths and the areas that need improvement. The good news is that we have a clear understanding of what we need to win an Olympic medal so we can work towards that goal. The challenge is achieving it without a full-time coach or a full year budget for the required training."

Shiva will be competing in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, his fifth Olympic participation so far.

--IANS (Posted on 29-12-2013)

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