Fast Felix: Defending Olympic champion Felix Loch of Germany leads after 2 runs of men's luge

The Associated Press

Felix Loch of Germany brakes after finishing his second run during the men's singles luge competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

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By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Germany's Felix Loch is halfway to defending his Olympic gold medal in men's luge.

The eight-time world champion coached by three-time gold medalist Georg Hackl finished his first two trips down the Sanki Center Sliding track in 1 minute, 44.149 seconds.

He leads Russia's Albert Demchenko (1:44.443) and Italy's Armin Zoeggeler (1:44.893), two of the sport's greats who are in their 40s and trying to keep up with the 24-year-old Loch.

Appearing in his seventh games, Demchenko led Loch after the first run with a time of 52.170 seconds. But Loch completed his second run down the 17-curve course in 51.964 seconds to take the lead and remind the field he's the one they're chasing.

Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake, N.Y., is 13th heading into Sunday's final two runs.

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