Luge Canada

Canada's jeff christie slides into top-20 at the final luge world cup

Coming off their silver medal performance in the overall team competition, Canadas top luge athletes struggled to find winning form at the final World Cup of the season, Saturday in Sigulda, Latvia.

Vancouver's Jeff Christie led the Canadian squad with his 16th-place finish in the men's singles event, stopping the clock with a two-run combined time of 1:39.830, +1.714 seconds off the winning pace set by Armin Zöggeler of Italy. For Christie, the result is a tough way to end the year after finding his way into the top-10 four times this season.

For Zöggeler, six World Cup wins this season, including todays victory, gave him his sixth overall title. Zöggeler held off hometown favourite Martins Rubenis, who took the silver (+0.033) and Russia's Albert Demtschenko who claimed the bronze (+0.292).

Notably, three other Canadians took to the track in the men's singles race. Calgarians Sam Edney, Nick Olson and Matt McMurray finished 26th (+2.561), 28th (+2.817) and 32nd (+5.498), respectively.

In womens action, Calgary's Alex Gough found her way into the top-20, finishing 18th, +1.605 off the winning time of 1:26.807 posted by none other than Germanys Silke Kraushaar-Pielach. The gold medal performance extends the German womens winning streak to 73. Natalia Yakushenko, of Ukraine, was second (+0.063), while Austria's Nina Reithmayer was third (+0.379). Kraushaar-Pielach also collects the overall title with her victory today.

Reginas Meaghan Simister was 14th after the first heat however difficulties in the second run left her nearly two seconds back of the winning time, ending the day in 23rd-place. The 20-year-old starting phenomenon has struggled to carry the advantage of her fast start through to the finish, but gains valuable experience with every run.

The Moffat brothers have their last chance to take on the worlds best doubles teams Sunday, for the final World Cup race of the 2006-07 season.

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Complete Results:

Mens top-five:
1. Armin Zöeggler, ITA, 1:38.116; 2. Martins Rubenis, LAT, +0.033; 3. Albert Demtschenko, RUS, +0.292; 4.David Möller, GER, +0.785; 5. Victor Kneib, RUS, +0.870

Canadian results:
16. Jeff Christie, Calgary, +1.714; 26. Sam Edney, Calgary, +2.561; 28. Nick Olson, Calgary, +2.817; 32. Matt McMurray, Calgary, +5.498

Womens top-five results:
1. Silke Kraushaar-Pielach, GER, 1:26.807; 2. Natalia Yakushenko, UKR, +0.064; 3. Nina Reithmayer, AUT, +0.379; 4. Anna Orlova, LAT, +0.402; 5. Tataja Hüfner, GER, +0.453

Canadian results:
18. Alex Gough, Calgary, +1.605; 23. Meaghan Simister, Regina, +1.979


Chris Dornan
Media and Public Relations
Canadian Luge Association
T: 403-470-9546