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Luge & Skeleton Wednesday, 16 January, 2002, 16:11 GMT
Salt Lake's slide rulers
Germany's Georg Hackl will be seeking to become the first winter Olympian to win four consecutive gold medals in the same individual event in Salt Lake.
Hackl will be seeking his fourth gold
Georg Hackl will be seeking to become the first winter Olympian to win four consecutive gold medals in the same individual event in Salt Lake.

The German, who competes in the luge, reached extraordinary heights at the 1998 Nagano Games.

Hackl won his event by an incredible half-a-second in a competition that is usually decided by thousandths.

His closest challenge is likely to come from two-time Olympic silver medalist, Markus Prock of Austria who is competing in his sixth Games.

Italy's Armin Zoeggeler has incentive as well in that he is only a gold medal away from completing his Olympic collection, having won bronze and silver.

Germany are favourites to land gold in the women's event as well with Silke Kraushaar leading the charge.

However, the reigning Olympic champion faces a stiff challenge from her countrywoman Sylke Otto.

At the past two World Cups, Otto has come out on top and the luge crowd can certainly expect a fierce battle.

Coomber chance

Great Britain's best chance of winning gold at the Games will be in the skeleton bob, with world number one Alex Coomber gunning for the title.

She completed a hat-trick of consecutive World Cup wins when she finished top of the world standings again in 2002 after the final race of the season in St Moritz this January.

The RAF officer also won the Olympic test event at the Park City track in February 2001.

Germany's Steffi Hanzlik and Canada's Mellissa Hollingsworth will also be in with a shout of the gold.

In the men's event Austria's World champion Martin Rettle has a good chance of winning gold after coming second in the Olympic test run at the Park City track last season.

But Britain's Kristan Bromley could be a darkhorse and is certainly in with a chance of finishing in the medal positions.

The 29-year-old design engineer has developed the sled that the GB teams will be using and has had a good season on the World Cup circuit.

American pair Jim Shea and Lincoln DeWitt will also be in contention.

Links to more Luge & Skeleton stories are at the foot of the page.

Links to more Luge & Skeleton stories

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