Canada's Regan Lauscher Wins Bronze Medal Against World's Best Sliders
-Canadian slider Madison Dupuis makes her d
The Challenge Cup, which showcases 12 of the top sliders in the world, includes the top two athletes per nation. Friday's race selection was determined by the last week's World Cup race results in Konigssee, Germany. The elimination round event consists of four heats with three athletes, then progresses to a semifinal run, and finally a final round with the top two sliders.
The 24-year-old Lauscher of Red Deer, Alta. marked her best-ever performance at the invitation only event, speeding down the track during the semifinal race in a time of 40.415.
"I was definitely thrilled about today's result," said Lauscher, who made history with her silver medal World Cup win in Lake Placid in December. "The Challenge Cup consists of the top sliders in the world, so this is definitely something to be proud of. It just shows me what is possible and what I can do on this track."
The seven-year veteran of the Canadian team finished the race behind two of Germany's strong, world dominating luge athletes. Silke Kraushaar slid to the top spot on the podium in the final run over her teammate, and current World Cup leader, Barbara Niedernhuber. Kraushaar finished the race to claim the gold medal in a time of 40.127, while Niederhnuber settled for second place, grabbing the silver medal at 40.168.
Lauscher beat out teammate Madison Dupuis, of Calgary, and Czech Republic's Marketa Jeriova to advance to the second round.
"I refused to finish the day with a mediocre first run," said Lauscher, who just narrowly came out on top during the preliminary round. "I just really focused on relaxing and having a solid second run, and it worked out. I was substantially faster in the semifinal which resulted in my first medal at a Challenge Cup."
Canada's 17-year-old Madison Dupuis made her Challenge Cup debut in Igls on Friday. The Canadian slider finished the race with a time of 40.633.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Madison (Dupuis)," said head coach Walter Corey. "This is a great confidence booster for her as this is only her second time on this track."
The Canadian Luge Team will compete in World Cup racing this weekend in Igls, Austria.
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.
COMPLETE TEAM RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Top-Four Women's Results:
1. Silke Kraushaar, GER, 40.127; 2. Barbara Niedernhuber, GER, 40.168; 3. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., CAN, 40.415; 4. Courtney Zablocki, USA, 40.495.