Canada's luge athletes bring home some silver hardware after finishing second overall in season-long team competitionCanadas luge team is bringing home a silver medal for finishing second in the overall standings in the World Cup team competition, the culmination of a season-long battle against the worlds best luge athletes in all disciplines.
Canadas team consisting of Calgary brothers Chris and Mike Moffat, Meaghan Simister, of Regina, and another Calgarian, Jeff Christie, finished Fridays final team event in fifth-place, with a combined time of two minutes 30.002 seconds, a mere three one hundredths out of the bronze medal position. The fifth-place result on the Winterberg track in Germany was enough to keep Canada in second place in the overall standings.
I am happy with the end result of our finish today, said Christie, who added finishing on the podium in a season-long event represents consistency which is critical in the sport and something the team strives to achieve each race. Our goal was to maintain our medal position in the overall standings. We knew coming in that the Germans were favoured to win, and even if we had come second today, we still wouldnt have been able to catch them in points. It is awesome to be able to stand on the podium as a team.
The team competition underwent a few changes this season, moving to a relay format during the January 7, 2007, World Cup in Königssee, Germany. Every team consists of a doubles team, one female and one male, who each complete one run for a combined final time.
In an effort to make the event more exciting for the teams and spectators, the FIL introduced a relay-type system that had the athletes tagging off on a flag at the finish, which in turn opened the gate at the start for the next team member. Strategy comes into play as the coaches communicate over radio to make sure the next athlete is ready to go as soon as the get opens.
We use a modified start technique for this type of race, said Simister. We stay in what is called a compression position, meaning you are at the farthest point back and pull forward on the handles as soon as the green light goes on. I think all our practice in the (CODAs) Ice House at (Canada Olympic Park) during the summer really pays off for this kind of event.
Simister was a new edition to the team event this weekend as regular womens competitor, Regan Lauscher returned home to Canada after sustaining a concussion following a crash in Altenberg, Germany, a few weeks ago. Lauscher, of Red Deer, Alta., was part of the team events in Calgary, Nagano, and Königssee, where Canada finished second, fourth and third respectively. Simisters ability to fill in on one of the fastest sleds on the national team is a testament to the depth and talent that is now in the Canadian luge program.
The German favourites of Leitner and Resch, Silke Kraushaar-Pielach and David Möller took the gold, with a combined time of 2:29.083, giving them the overall title. Russias team claimed the silver, +0.601 seconds behind the leaders and Austria rounded out the top three, +0.883 seconds off the pace.
The Luge World Cup continues Saturday with the doubles and womens competition.
The Canadian Luge Association is the governing body for luge racing in Canada. The Canadian Luge Association is responsible for developing our nations high-performance luge athletes and promoting the sport across the country. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca.
Complete Results: www.fil-luge.org
Team top-five results:
1. Germany, 2:29.083; 2. Russia, +0.601; 3. Austria, +0.883; 4. USA, +0.915; 5. Canada Moffat/Moffat, Calgary, Meaghan Simister, Regina, Jeff Christie, Calgary, +0.919
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Media and Public Relations
Canadian Luge Association