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Olympics: Lightning Loch grabs lead in men's luge

Germany's reigning Olympic champion Felix Loch came from behind to confirm his position as favourite in the men's luge singles by clinching the lead after the first two races at Sochi's sliding centre.

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia: Germany's reigning Olympic champion Felix Loch came from behind to confirm his position as favourite in the men's luge singles by clinching the lead after the first two races at Sochi's sliding centre on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Loch, who won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games at the age of 20 to become the youngest ever Olympic champion in the event, was trailing by 0.015sec to 42-year-old Albert Demchenko of Russia after the first race but managed to finish the day with a 0.294 sec lead.

"In the first run I made three serious mistakes and that was the problem for me. If you make a mistake at the fifth curve you have to ride the next 80 metres uphill and you lose too much time having no chance to get it back," Loch said.

"But still we were close after the first race, while in the second it was Albert's (Demchenko) turn to make an error allowing me to grab the lead."

Loch added that on Sunday, when the medals will be decided, he was expecting two more interesting races adding he was in his favourite position as he had the chance to open the third run.

"In the third run I'll have the first position and that's what I like most of all at the Olympics," he said.

"I'll do my best to show a good time and will wait watching the others trying to beat it. But Albert is really fast on his home track and I will need to perform really well tomorrow."

Demchenko, who was confident after the the first race, appeared upset after the second.

"It's all right. Everything's normal," he said.

Meanwhile, third-placed luge great Armin Zoeggeler, 41, of Italy, who is 0.450sec behind Demchenko after the first day, is in a good position for winning his sixth Olympic medal at his sixth consecutive Games.

He is 0.294sec ahead of Austria's Andi Langenhan, who currently sits fourth.

"I'm happy with my performance as both races were very good for me," Zoeggeler said.

"I'm happy with my current position but I understand clearly that I will need to work really hard tomorrow to keep my lead."

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