Canada's Lauscher Slides to Best Ever Result Finishing Seventh at Viessmann Luge World Cup
-Germans, Austrians cap
The seventh-place result for the 25-year-old Red Deer, Alta. native marks her best-ever finish at a luge World Cup outside of Canada. Lauscher's previous personal best on an international track was eighth in Salt Lake City a year following the Olympic Winter Games. She also posted a seventh-place finish at the World Cup in Calgary last year.
"This is a great way to start the season," said the 2002 Olympian, who missed the first half of last season, including the Altenberg race, to catch up on her schooling. "I had not raced this track in a couple of years so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I certainly gained a lot of confidence today, and I'm focused on accomplishing my goals this season of consistently placing in the top eight with the best sliders in the world."
Lauscher blazed down the Altenberg track, which combines speed and gliding with strong technical driving skills around tight corners, in a two time of one minute 51.206 seconds.
"This track is definitely a test for all sliding abilities," said Lauscher, who posted times of 55.739 and 55.467. "It was really good for me that I had to pre-qualify on Thursday to race today, and then participate in the team Challenge Cup yesterday as it gave me two additional competitive days on the track to get rid of any pre-race jitters. It really helped me focus and be ready for anything that hit me today."
The German women continued their dominance of the Viessmann Luge World Cup on Saturday narrowly missing a podium sweep. Anke Wischnewski slid to the top spot on the podium clocking a combined time of 1:50.009, while countryman, Silke Kraushaar, grabbed the silver medal with a two-run time of 1:50.366. Austria's Nina Reithmayer ruined the German party after locking up third spot (1:50.813). Canada's 17-year-old rookie on the senior circuit, Madison Dupuis, was the only other Canadian woman entered in the 23-sled field. Dupuis of Calgary, who is one of the youngest women on the World Cup circuit, finished in 20th spot (1:52.965).
The 2004-05 men's doubles season on the Viessmann Luge World Cup also got underway on Saturday. Canada's Eric Pothier of Airdrie, Alta. and Grant Albrecht of Red Deer, Alta. teamed up for a ninth-place finish. The 2002 Olympians, and veterans of Canada's luge squad, clocked a two-run time of 1:29.037 to crack the top-10. World Cup rookies, and 2004 World Junior silver medallists, Sam Edney, 20, and Gwyn Lewis, 18, had a tough introduction to the best sliders in the world, finishing 15th with a time of 1:30.426.
The Austrians captured gold in the men's doubles competition. Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger successfully defended their World Cup title on the Altenberg track this morning, grabbing the top spot on the podium with a time of 1:28.022. The 2003 World Champions were joined in the medal positions with Italy's Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber in second (1:28.216), while Germany's Sebastien Schmidt and André Forker were third (1:28.278).
The Viessmann Luge World Cup continues on Sunday with the men's singles competition. Canada will be well represented by Jeff Christie, Ian Cockerline and Sam Edney who all qualified earlier this week to race tomorrow.
Women's Singles Top-Seven and Canadian Results: (23 Sleds)
1.Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:50.009; 2. Silke Kraushaar, GER, 1:50.366; 3. Nina Reithmayer, AUT, 1:50.813; 4. Barbara Niedernhuber, GER, 1:50.931, 5. Anastasia Oberstolz-Antonova, ITA, 1:50.995; 6. Veronika Halder, AUT, 1:51.004; 7. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., CAN, 1:51.206.
Other Canadian Women's Results:
20. Madison Dupuis, Calgary, CAN, 1:52.965
Men's Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results: (16 Sleds)
1. Linger/ Linger, AUT, 1:28.022; 2. Oberstolz/ Gruber, ITA, 1:28.216; 3. Schmidt/Forker, GER, 1:28.278, 4. Plankensteiner/Haselrider, ITA, 1:28.382; 5. Florshutz/Wustlich, GER, 1:28.455.
Other Canadian Men's Doubles Results:
9. Grant Albrecht, Red Deer, Alta./Eric Pothier, Airdrie, Alta., CAN, 1:29.037; 15. Sam Edney, Calgary/Gwyn Lewis, Calgary, CAN, 1:30.426.
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.