Jeff Christie Leads Canadian Trio With Thirteenth-Place Finish at Viessmann Luge World Cup
-Marshall Saville captu
The Vancouver native, who has struggled with the Altenberg track during training this week and throughout his career, flew down the technically challenging beast in a two-run combined time of one-minute 51:802 seconds. Christie posted runs clocked at times of 55:942 and 55:860.
"I am just so happy to get here and slide well. My goal was to reach the top-20, so I couldn't be happier," said the 21-year-old, who finished 23rd overall during his rookie season on the World Cup last year. "Last season I felt I had to prove myself to other people, but today, I was racing to put my best run down."
While Christie enjoyed a significant leap closer to the top of the World Cup standings, it was Austria's Markus Kleinheinz who captured the first World Cup gold medal of the season. Kleinheinz finished with a combined time of 1:50:604. Russia's Albert Demtschenko was close behind at 1:50:827, while Italy's Armin Zöggeler rounded out the top three with a two-run time of 1:51:005.
Two other Canadian sleds were entered in the field of 30 athletes. Calgary's Sam Edney was the next best Canuck in 24th. The 20-year-old, who was the 2004 World Junior silver medallist, posted a time of 1:52:717. Ian Cockerline of Calgary rounded out the Canadian sleds. Cockerline qualified for Sunday's race in 26th position, but crashed during his first run.
"We're still going to keep swinging for the podium," said Walter Corey, head coach of the Canadian squad, the youngest luge team in the world. "Jeff and Regan's (Lauscher) performance this weekend were great starts to the season and will give the team a lot of confidence as we continue on. We're really excited about the start to the season and I'm optimistic we'll continue to improve."
Lauscher equalled her best ever World Cup result on Saturday sliding to a seventh-place finish in the women's singles event.
Meanwhile, back in Canada, the nation's top junior luge athletes were battling it out in Calgary for the national junior crown. Calgary's Marshall Saville slid to a double-gold performance claiming the Canadian title in both the junior men's singles and doubles events, while Alex Gough slid to the top of the podium in the junior women's singles race.
The Canadian Luge Team heads to Sigulda, Latvia on Monday for the next stop on the Viessmann Luge World Cup, November 17-21, 2004.
Men's Singles Top-10 Results:
1.Markus Kleinheinz, AUT, 1:50:604; 2. Albert Demtschenko, RUS, 1:50:827; 3. Armin Zöggeler, ITA, 1:51:005; 4. Tony Benshoof, USA, 1:51:036. 5. Georg Hackl, GER, 1:51:071; 6. David Möller, GER, 1:51:169; 7. Jan Eichhorn, GER, 1:51:201; 8. Rainer Margreiter, AUT, 1:51:307; 9. Martins Rubenis, LAT, 1:51:376; 10. Denis Geppert, GER, 1:51:488.
Other Canadian Results:
13. Jeff Christie, Vancouver, CAN, 1:51.802; 24. Sam Edney, Calgary, CAN, 1:52:717.; DNF Ian Cockerline, Calgary, CAN.
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.