Lim completes three Olympic luge runs despite recent injury
Korea's Lim Nam-kyu finished his three runs in the men's luge on Saturday and Sunday despite suffering a potentially career-ending injury when his sled flipped during training last month.
Lim finished in second-to-last place on Sunday at Yanqing National Sliding Centre in Beijing.
Each luge competitor gets three runs, with the top 20 advancing to a final fourth run. The winner is determined after the times for all runs are added together.
The first two heats were held on Saturday, with Lim finished 34th in his first run with a time of 1:02.438. He was able to shave three seconds off that in his second run, crossing the finish line with a time of 59.794 to finish in 30th position.
This is Lim’s second and last time on the big stage, after having finished 30th at the PyeongChang Games. Lim retired after the 2018 Games, but the Korea Luge Federation convinced him to return to represent Korea at the Beijing Games.
Not only was Lim not expecting to compete in Beijing at all, but after he committed, his chance of making it to the Games was again derailed in January when he suffered a serious injury while training for a World Cup in Germany.
Lim was hospitalized for two days with a very deep gash on his leg and then allowed himself only three days to recover before heading back to the World Cup circuit on crutches. It was at the race immediately after that injury that Lim earned his Olympic berth.
Luge is the fastest sport at the Olympics, with athletes reaching speeds over 150 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour). Lim reached a velocity of 116.1 kilometers per hour in his first heat, then was able to up his speed to 121.1 kilometers per hour in his second heat.
Lim headed in to the third run on Sunday in second-to-last place, a total of 7.731 seconds behind leader Johannes Ludwig of Germany.
Lim crossed the finish line with a time of 59.538 in his third run, rounding off his last run in 28th position. Lim's total time of 3:01.770 after the three runs put him in 33rd position overall. Despite failing to land in the top 20, that he was able to shave almost three seconds off his first run in his last run allows Lim to end his time on the big stage on a high note.
Luge events continue on Monday with the first and second heats of the women’s singles. Germany-born Korean luger Aileen Christina Frisch will represent Korea in the women’s single event.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]