Canadian luge athlete Regan Lauscher looks to put last week's controversy behind her
-Slides to 11th spot in Lake
The 25-year-old Red Deer, Alta. native, who saw a fourth-best finish disqualified on a technicality last week, put the controversy behind her to post an 11th-place result in the women's luge event on Friday at Lake Placid.
"I admit I'm still disappointed by what happened in Calgary, but I had to focus today," said the 2002 Olympian, who now has her sights set on the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy. "Last week's ruling was a surprise that nobody expected - myself, my coaches, my teammates, the entire luge circuit - but it's done and over with, and I have to move forward. I'm taking it as a lesson, and one that I will take with me to Torino."
In a highly disputed ruling, Lauscher was disqualified in last week's World Cup race in Calgary after a sponsorship sticker flew off her helmet as she crossed the finish line in the first heat. She was allowed a second run while officials considered a protest filed by the Canadian team, and blazed down the track to set a new track record and post the fourth-best finish on the day - if one that was ultimately deemed invalid shortly after the race ended.
"When I did that second run in Calgary, I did it knowing I was on the edge of disqualification," said Lauscher. "Despite all of those distractions, I felt I triumphed. Those are the positive things I looked at going into today's competition, and I felt I focused well and put down two consistent runs."
Lauscher recorded times of 46.405 and 46.110 for a combined total of 1:32.515 amid snowy conditions during Friday's Lake Placid race.
"With the amount of snow on the track, it wasn't optimal racing conditions for any of the athletes," she said. "It allowed us to try a separate sled setup for the first time to deal with those types of conditions."
In other Canadian women's results, 19-year-old Meaghan Simister, a native of Regina, matched her previous best result of the 2005-06 World Cup season by recording a two-heat total of 1:32.789 for 16th place. Meanwhile, rookie Alex Gough continued her steady development in international competition, with the 18-year-old Calgary native registering a time of 1:33.096 for 19th place.
Claiming top spot on the podium in the women's races was German veteran Silke Kraushaar, who collected her fifth medal, and third gold, of the critical 2005-06 World Cup campaign. Kraushaar whipped down the track in a two-heat time of 1:31.642 to take the top prize, while Italy's Anastasia Oberstolz-Antonova clocked in at 1:31.923 to grab the silver. Rounding out the top sleds was Germany's Anke Wischnewski, who captured the bronze medal in a time of 1:32.006.
In doubles competition Friday, the Calgary duo of brothers Chris and Mike Moffat, both veterans of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, continued their return to the World Cup circuit with a 14th place finish. The Moffat brothers, competing in only their fourth race after a three-year hiatus from the luge track, garnered a two-heat time of 1:30.610, and recently earned their berth in the 2006 Winter Games. Trailing the Moffats was the Canadian tandem of Grant Albrecht, of Red Deer, Alta., and Eric Pothier, of Airdrie, Alta., who slid to 15th spot with a time of 1:31.085.
Germany's Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch posted the top time of the day, clocking in at 1:29.617 to claim the gold medal. They were joined on the podium by two Italian teams, with the duo of Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber taking silver with 1:29.692. Fellow countrymen Gerhard Plankensteiner and Oswald Haselrieder claimed bronze after clocking in for a two-run total time of 1:29.726.
The Veissmann Luge World Cup continues tomorrow in Lake Placid with the men's singles race, during which Canadians Jeff Christie, Sam Edney and Ian Cockerline will vie for podium finishes.
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.
For complete results, see www.fil-luge.org
Women's Top-Five Results (23 sleds):
1.Silke Kraushaar, GER, 1:31.642; 2. Anastasia Oberstolz-Antonova, ITA, 1:31.923; 3. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:32.006; 4. Samantha Retrosi, USA, 1:32.009; Erin Hamlin, USA, 1:32.088
Canadian Women's Results:
11. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., 1:32.515; 16. Meagan Simister, Regina, Sask., 1:32.789; 19. Alex Gough, Calgary, 1:33.096.
Doubles Top-Five Results (16 sleds):
1.Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch, GER, 1:29.617; 2. Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber, ITA, 1:29.692; 3. Gerhard Plankensteiner and Oswald Haselrieder, ITA, 1:29.726; 4. Christian Niccum and Patrick Quinn, USA, 1:29.730; 5. Andre Florschutz and Torsten Wustlich, GER, 1:29.732.
Canadian Doubles Results:
14. Chris and Mike Moffat, Calgary, 1:30.610; 15. Grant Albrecht, Red Deer, Alta., and Eric Pothier, Airdrie, Alta., 1:31.085.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
CODA, Communications Specialist