Park and Cho complete two good runs in luge doubles
Park Jin-yong and Cho Jung-myung finished 12th in the doubles luge on Wednesday night at Yanqing National Sliding Centre in Beijing.
Park and Cho had two clean runs, finishing the first with a time of 59.361 to take 10th place, and then dropping down to 12th on the second run as a slightly slower start pushed their run time down to 59.366.
Their combined time was 1:59.727, 2.173 seconds behind German pair Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, who took gold. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken of Germany took silver, while Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller took bronze.
Luge is one of the most hair-raising winter sports, with athletes lying on their back on a sled while careening down an ice track at speeds that can be over 80 miles per hour. The sled is controlled by flexing either the calf or shoulder muscles to slightly shift weight and change direction.
In the doubles events, they do it while lying on top of — or under — their teammate.
Park and Cho's middle-of-the-pack finish was a respectable result for sliders from a country with very little luge history. The pair also competed at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where they finished in ninth place. On both occasions they were the highest-ranked Asian athletes in the competition by a significant margin.
Park and Cho will be back on the ice on Thursday for the final luge event of the Beijing Olympics, the team relay. In the relay, all four of Korea's lugers will work together, racing one after the other with a sensor at the finish line triggering the gate at the top of the track for the next athlete.
Women's singles competitor Aileen Christina Frisch will start off the race, followed by men's singles athlete Lim Nam-kyu, with Park and Cho bringing up the rear.
The team relay will start at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]