India's Shiva Keshavan qualifies for Luge World Cup finals

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Lake Placid (New York), Dec 5: Shiva Keshavan returned a personal best of 53.125 seconds and finished the Nations Cup race with a best showing of 15th place to qualify for the Luge World Cup starting here Friday.

The Luge pilot from Manali and fastest man in Asia clocked 120.01 km/h on his way down the 1.5 km ice course Thursday.

File photo: Shiva Kesavan, third from left

The gold went to Russia's Victor Kneyb, who put down a record time of 51.675 seconds with a speed of 123.73 km/h.

This is a significant result for Shiva as this marks his first ever qualification for the World Cup finals event.

The race took place in tough weather conditions with the temperatures dropping to -13 degrees celcius making the ice extremely hard and three top athletes crashing out as they failed to find any grip on the ice.

"Me and my coach Duncan are thrilled with the result. We have been working on some key driving points and aiming for stability and consistency, which paid off under these tough conditions," a satisfied Keshavan said.

"The aim is to take it one step at a time and continue to improve while slowly unlocking more speed from our sled during the year without compromising on control or safety. I am excited about the World Cup final as it is our first time competing at this level."

IANS

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