Canada's Albrecht and Pothier Slide to Top-10 Finish at Luge World Championships
-Regan Lauscher leads Canadian wo
Albrecht, of Red Deer, Alta., and Pothier, of Airdrie, Alta., have been fighting to improve their equipment all season, but put those frustrations aside and posted two solid runs, for a time of 1:40.236, to end the day in ninth place.
"Of course we would have liked to do better, but under the circumstances we had two clean runs and can't ask for much more against this level of competition," said Pothier, who along with partner Grant Albrecht, finished the World Cup season ranked seventh. "We'll take the off-season to work on getting our sled faster and catching up to the technology that the rest of the world is using."
Sam Edney and Gwyn Lewis, both of Calgary, are fresh off a silver medal finish at the Junior Luge World Championships, and were the other Canadian doubles team sliding on the 1998 Olympic Track in Nagano. They had trouble on their first run, but stormed back into the top-15 on their second attempt to finish 13th, in 1:41.739.
It took a track record to win the gold medal in Japan, and Germany's Olympic Champion team of Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch set that mark, in a time of 1:38.930. Another German duo, André Florschütz and Torsten Wustlich, took the silver, with a two-run time of 1:39.274. The final step on the podium was claimed by Mark Grimette and Brian Martin, of the United States, in 1:39.280.
In women's singles action, 23-year-old Regan Lauscher, of Red Deer, Alta., was the fastest Canadian. She posted a two-run time of 1:41.240, good enough for 14th place.
"I've had some ups and downs this season, and training this week didn't go as well as I wanted it to. My sliding was consistent enough, just not as fast as I know it can be," said Lauscher, who missed the first two races of the season to finish her semester in college. "Even taking the time off, it felt like a long season and after ten years of sliding, I don't think it really affected my performance."
Regina's Meaghan Simister, 17, was the only other woman wearing the maple leaf, and she ended the day in 16th place (1:41.523). Simister has had the best season of her young career, consistently climbing the World Cup standings into the top-15.
The German women closed the season with another podium sweep, complete with a new track record from newly crowned World Champion Silke Kraushaar. She won gold in a time of 1:39.611. In the silver medal spot was Barbara Niedernhuber in 1:39.653, and the bronze medal went to last year's winner and this season's top-ranked athlete, Sylke Otto, who had a two-run time of 1:39.860.
The Luge World Championships will finish Sunday in Nagano, with four Canadians getting the chance to suit up in the men's singles event. In addition to both Sam Edney and Gwyn Lewis, who will trade in their doubles sled, for singles sleds, will be Jeff Christie, of Vancouver, and Ian Cockerline, of Calgary.
Complete Results: www.fil-luge.org
MEN'S DOUBLES RESULTS:
WOMEN'S SINGLES RESULTS:
|9||United States||Courtney Zablocki||1:40.791|
The Canadian Luge Associaton is the governing body for luge racing in Canada. In partnership with CODA, the Canadian Luge Association operates the Olympic Luge Training Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, which develops our nation's high-performance luge athletes and promotes the sport across the country. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.