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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 February 2006, 18:54 GMT
Zoeggeler crowned luge champion
Armin Zoeggeler impressing the home crowd
Zoeggeler delighted the home fans
Italy's Armin Zoeggeler retained his men's singles luge Olympic title with an emphatic performance on Sunday.

The local favourite clocked up a combined time of three minutes, 26.088 seconds for his four runs.

Russia's Albert Demtschenko trailed by just 0.110 seconds to win silver, with Latvian Martin Rubenis in third.

US-born Adam Rosen performed magnificently to be the leading Briton in 16th, while Mark Hatton was 35th after rolling over on his third run.

Hatton, 32, recovered with a reasonable fourth run but revealed he was "gutted" after being placed last out of those who finished.

"It's not the way I planned - I lost a lot at the top of my second run and went 100% in my third, but if you race that way you pay the price," he said.

There was no way I was going to let that sled get away from me - I've given four years of my life to this
Mark Hatton

Zoeggeler was delighted to have won Italy's first gold medal of the Games.

"I knew I needed to stay really focused and I did because if you make a mistake everything is finished," he said.

"This was the most difficult medal of my career because there was a lot of pressure on me. I still don't believe I won the medal."

German Georg Hackl, a medal winner in all five of his previous Olympic campaigns, will retire after the Games and could only finish seventh.


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