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Tristan Walker and Justin Snith 10th at Viessmann Luge World Cup Altenberg

Canadian Teens Cole Zajanski, Devin Wardrope 13th in World Cup debut, Reid Watts finishes 18th in men’s race

ALTENBERG, Ger.—The veterans of the Canadian Luge Team will leave Altenberg looking for more, while two teenagers enjoyed a promising start to their World Cup careers on Saturday.

Olympic silver medallists, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith, were frustrated with a 10th-place result as the World Cup resumed on the challenging 15-corner Altenberg track. Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary’s Snith were not able to carry lightening quick starts into fast times at the finish line, clocking a combined time of 1:24.579.

Meanwhile, two Calgary-based teenagers, Devin Wardrope and Cole Zajanski, impressed in their World Cup debut with a 13th-place result.

“Our top doubles team had top-notch starts, but they are losing speed all the way down the track, so we need to find out where they are losing this speed,” said Staudinger, who was impressed by Canada’s new teenage double sled.

“To see the young doubles team sliding here for the first time together, and having two decent starts and very consistent runs, shows the future lies deep in our next gen program. We continue to see that if we give these young ones the opportunity, they will grab onto it.”

The 17-year-old Wardrope and 18-year-old Zajanski made up time on the field as they progressed down the 1,220-metre track in each run, finishing with a two-run time of 1:24.787.

“These kids have shown the potential and now it is our job to develop them into world-class sliders. They left a lot of the world’s best athletes behind them today, so we are heading in the right direction,” added Staudinger.

Austria’s Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller finished on top of the doubles pack with a golden time of 1:23.779. Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken were second at 1:24.007. Russia’s Aleksandr Denisev and Vladislav Antonov locked up the bronze medal with a time of 1:24.060.

Meanwhile, Reid Watts was the lone Canadian to qualify for the men’s singles race. The 2018 Olympian, who hails from Whistler, B.C., took advantage of a top-15 second run to finish in 18th-place overall with a time of 1:49.399.

“Reid is achieving the benchmark we have set for him this year,” said Staudinger. “He did what he has to do. He is still young and needs to grow athletically. The difference is at the start, which is preventing him from getting into the top-10, but eventually this will come.”

Austria’s David Gleirscher slid into the winner’s circle with a time of 1:48.150. Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller was second at 1:48.383, while Germany’s Felix Loch stepped onto the bronze-medal step of the podium after stopping the clock at 1:48.420.

The World Cup continues on Sunday in Altenberg with the women’s singles race followed by the team relay.

Complete World Cup Doubles Results: https://www.fil-luge.org/cdn/uploads/rl2wcdoubles-32.pdf
Complete World Cup Men’s Singles Results: https://www.fil-luge.org/cdn/uploads/rl2wcmen-35.pdf

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.