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Winter Olympics 2018: How Shiva Keshavan can still qualify for the medal round in PyeongChang

Sagnik Kundu
FEATURED COLUMNIST
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405   //    11 Feb 2018, 01:56 IST

Luge - Winter Olympics Day 1
Shiva Keshavan

Six-time Olympian Shiva Keshavan finished 34th after two rounds of heats in the men's singles luge event at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, earlier today.

Starting at the 37th among the 40 sliders competing in the event, Keshavan got off to a pretty bad start in his first run as he took two bumps in the initial section of his opening run. Although he recovered and was able to control his steering, it cost him dearly. The 36-year-old finished 2.926 seconds off the leader with a timing of 50.578 secs, which put him in the bottom pile at 36th.

In the second run, though, he improved heaps and finished with a timing of 48.710, which was just 1.085 seconds behind the track record of 47.625 set by Felix Loch earlier in the day., and finished at 31st. His combined timing came to be 1:39.288 which placed him at 34th in the overall rankings after the first two runs.

Before criticising his performance, one must bear in mind the difficulties Keshavan had had to face during his long career. Moreover, he had sustained a hairline fracture on his right hand just a few weeks back, which must have affected his performance. However, while the chances of a medal are bleak, the Manali-born athlete might still qualify for the fourth run.

Now, only the top 20 athletes after the first three runs qualify for the fourth and final run, which is also the medal run.

Given his current position, it is extremely unlikely that Keshavan will make it to the top 20 and hence, the medal run. However, mathematically, one cannot rule out the possibility entirely.

In the overall standings, Czech Republic's Ondrej Hyman occupies the 20th position after the first two runs with a combined timing of 1:36.600. Hyman's timing is only 2.688 seconds ahead of Keshavan's timing.

Should Keshavan overcome that deficit, for which he will probably have to set a new track record in the third run, he can still qualify for the fourth and final run on Sunday. But again, the chances of that happening are very slim.

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Sagnik Kundu
FEATURED COLUMNIST
I spend every day at office wondering how they got the table through the door.
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