Luge federation changes qualification criteria for Beijing Games

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Luge - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Test Event - FIL Luge World Cup - Yanqing National Sliding Center, Yanqing, Beijing, China - November 21, 2021 Staff members are seen near the track during the Team Relay competition REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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Dec 18 (Reuters) - The International Luge Federation has updated qualification criteria for next year's Winter Olympics in Beijing to make sure athletes are not shortchanged after some were left without their regular equipment at three World Cup events.

The federation said it would consider the best four finishes for each slider from the seven World Cup races until Jan. 10 to allocate starting spots for the Feb. 4-20 Games, instead of using accumulated points from all races.

It said that for some nations, training runs could not take place in Beijing's Yanqing district earlier this year. Some boxes of equipment also did not make it in time to Sochi, Russia, which held two World Cup races in November and at the start of this month, and to the Dec. 11-2 event in Altenberg, Germany.

"These unfortunate circumstances resulted in significant disadvantages for a number of athletes and nations with regard to their qualification for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games," it said in a statement.

The World Cup is scheduled to continue in Innsbruck, Austria from Dec. 18-19.

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Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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