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Olympics: Demtschenko, 42, sets best luge mark

Russia's 42-year-old luger Albert Demtschenko set the best time of 52.553sec on the third day of practice at the Sochi Olympics sliding centre on Friday.

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia: Russia's 42-year-old luger Albert Demtschenko set the best time of 52.553sec on the third day of practice at the Sochi Olympics sliding centre on Friday.

Demtschenko, who is competing at his seventh Winter Olympics, the record that he shares with Japanese ski-jumper Noriaki Kasai, was 0.132sec faster than Germany's Felix Loch, who is one of the favourites.

Demtschenko, who won the silver medal at the 2006 Games in Turin, is also among Sunday's singles medal favourites.

But Russia's luge team head caoach Alexander Vasin said the result of practice means little before the official start of the competition.

"Nobody gives medals for it," he said. "However, it's a good sign."

"Demtschenko, (Felix) Loch, (Armin) Zoeggeller and (David) Moeller are the main medal contenders here."

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