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Day 1- 16th FIL World Championships, Feb 15th to Feb 19th, 2007 in Grande Prairie, Alberta (CAN)

FIL President Fendt opens ChampionshipsWith a crowd of almost 2000 spectators watching FIL president Josef Fendt opened the 16th World Championships on Natural Track and the first on the American continent. The opening ceremony was held as a part of the icehockey game of the Alberta Junior League. About 70 athletes from 14 countries will fight for the luge medals in the next three days.

Today´s training runs did not hold a lot of surprises. Russians and Austrians dominated the doubles trainings, Ekatharina Lavrentjeva (RUS) was fastest once again (even though suffering from a bad cold) and Gernot Schwab (AUT), who has won both Grande Prairie World Cups a year ago, proved that he really likes this track. Local hero Kaj Johnson finished 6th in the second training and bears all the Canadian hopes for a best ever finish.

Tomorrow, Saturday, in the team event the first medals will be awarded. Nine teams have entered the competition. Reigning Champions are the Austrians who won gold in Latsch (ITA) 2005 with Melanie and Robert Batkowski and Reinhard Beer/Herbert Kögl. Tomorrow Austria I will compete with Melanie Batkowski, Gernot Schwab and Christian Schatz/Gerhard Mühlbacher.

The competition will be opened tomorrow at 9.30am with the men´s single seaters, followed by the women and finished with the doubleseater´s run.


FIL Media Service