Canadian Luge Athletes Flirt with World Cup Podium in Germany
WINTERBERG, Ger.—Two Canadian luge sleds made a charge for their first career podium at the World Cup in Winterberg, Germany on Saturday.
Doubles tandem, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith, had their best finish of the season after sliding to fifth spot with a two-run time of one minute, 28.110 seconds (1:28.110) on the 15-corner Winterberg track.
“It was a bitter sweet day for me. On one hand finishing fifth in Winterberg on a track we have a lot of difficulty on in the past is great, but on the other hand we had a mistake on the first run that cost us enough time to easily put us in second place,” said Tristan Walker. “I have to be happy with a personal best finish in Winterberg, but I am not satisfied. This shows us we are there and can definitely push for the podium.”
The 22 year old Albertans, Walker of Cochrane and Calgary’s Snith, have demonstrated great promise over the last two years, finishing the 2013 campaign off with three straight fourth-place finishes including the World Championships in Whistler, and the World Cup test event at 2014 Olympic Track in Sochi.
Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt defended their home ice with a winning time of 1:27.491. Italy’s Christian Obertstolz and Patrick Gruber were second at 1:28.040. Two sleds tied for third. Italy’s Ludwig Rieder and Patrick Rastner, along with Austria’s Peter Penz and Georg Fischler matched times of 1:28.097.
Heavy snow blanketing the 1,324-metre track in the afternoon forced race officials to condense the men’s singles competition to one run.
Calgary’s Sam Edney battled through the snow to clock his best career finish in Winterberg. The 11-year veteran of the Canadian Luge Team, and two-time Olympian, placed sixth after clocking a time of 53.051 in his one bomb down the icy chute.
Germany’s Chris Eibler captured the gold with a time of 52.938. Italy’s Armin Zoggeler slid to the silver medal at 52.982, while Germany’s David Moller rounded out the men’s singles podium with a third-place time of 52.994.
Calgary’s Mitchel Malyk was the only other Canuck to hit the start handles and finish 23d (53.352).
The World Cup continues on Sunday in Winterberg with women’s singles racing.
The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.
COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:27.491; 2. Oberstolz/Gruber, ITA, 1:28.040; T3. Rieder/Raster, ITA, 1:28.097; T3. Penz/Fischler, AUT, 1:28.097; 5. Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Snith, Calgary, CAN, 1:28.110
Men’s Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Chris Eibler, GER, 52.938; 2. Armin Zoggeler, ITA, 52.982; 3. David Moller, GER, 52.994; 4. Felix Loch, GER, 53.001; 5. Dominik Fischnaller, ITA, 53.022
6. Sam Edney, Calgary, 53.051; 23. Mitchel Malyk, Calgary, 53.352