Canada's Jeff Christie looks to rebound from disappointing result in World Cup luge action
-Luge athlete struggles
The 22-year-old Christie, who was born in Vancouver and lived most of his life in Calgary, looked to be in the thick of the race after posting a respectable first-run time of 49.680 seconds. However, an admittedly disastrous second trip down the track left Canada's luge men's singles leader with a two-heat time of 2:10.516.
"It started out good, but it didn't end that way," said Christie, who last month posted his best career World Cup result to date with a fifth-place finish in Calgary.
One curve combination in particular vexed Christie during his second run down the track, leading to a crash that effectively stymied his bid to move up the race rankings.
"I'd been having clean training runs through that section all week. Maybe they were a little too clean and maybe I got a little too relaxed," said Christie, adding that his focus is on putting the less than memorable outing behind him as he looks ahead to next month and the start of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
"You have to deal with the reasons why you crashed. As soon as you deal with the problem, you move on," he said. "There's no point in sitting here and beating myself up over it."
Nevertheless, Walter Corey, head coach of the Canadian Luge Team, saw glimmers of positive developments in what amounted to a disappointing performance by Christie's standards.
"I saw some strides in terms of big improvements in his start," said Corey. "It was nice to see, but I know Jeff would've far preferred to have an overall great race."
Celebrating his fourth World Cup victory of this Olympic season and the 30th of his career was Italy's Armin Zoggeler, who posted the top two-run time of the competition with 1:38.121. Fellow countryman Reinhold Rainer claimed the silver medal in 1:38.701. Germany's David Moller spoiled a complete Italian monopoly on the podium by winning the bronze medal courtesy of his two-heat total time of 1:38.836.
The Veissmann Luge World Cup continues tomorrow in Igls with the doubles race, during which Canadian duos Chris and Mike Moffat and Grant Albrecht and Eric Pothier will vie for podium finishes. It will be followed by the women's race, where Red Deer, Alta. native Regan Lauscher will be joined by two youngsters, Meaghan Simister and Alex Gough, as she looks to build on her bronze medal win in Friday's Suzuki Challenge Cup.
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
Men's Singles Top-Five Results (31 sleds):
1.Armin Zoggeler, ITA, 1:38.121; 2. Reinhold Rainer, ITA, 1:38.701; 3. David Moller, GER, 1:38.836; 4. Markus Kleinheinz, AUT, 1:38.876; 5. Stefan Hohener, SUI, 1:38.975.
Canadian Men's Results:
30. Jeff Christie, Vancouver, 2:10.516.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
CODA, Communications Specialist