Luge Canada

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

Gold medals for Gernot Schwab (AUT) and Ekatharina Lavrentjeva (RUS)Final curtain for Gerhard Pilz (AUT)"When I came here I was sick and felt horrible, today I am almost my usual self again and knew I could perform as usually", said Russia´s gold medallist Ekatharina Lavrentjeva. "I have won here last year already and I like the track, so I was confident I could succeed here in spite of being ill. When I was leading with a one second margin after the first run, I started to relax a bit. But the first day and the training had been really very difficult for me," she summed up her way to the gold medal. Her team mate Julia Vetlova took silver and for her Canada was a new venture: "I came here for the first time, so I did not know the track. But I found that it suits my sliding style very well, because I like it when there are many turns."

Melanie Batkowski (AUT) could look back to a nearly perfect weekend, with a gold medal in the team event and the bronze in the individual race: "Today I had a really good final run, much better than yesterday. My runners have suited the conditions today better than yesterday. But all together I am really happy with my two medals," said the 18-year-old student.

Austria took gold and silver in the men´s single event. At the beginning it looked like a head-to-head fight between Gerhard Pilz and Gernot Schwab with Pilz in the lead after the first run. But Schwab answered with two excellent runs and in the end won by a 1,04 second margin. "My goal was to win a medal here, I did not dare to expect gold. For sure I hoped for it, but I was also aware that it would be difficult to win a medal at all", Schwab said. Canada has always been good soil for him, it was three years ago in Grande Prairie when he had achieved his first World Cup podium finish, last year he won both World Cup races on this track, therefore he can also imagine to come back to Canada in summer: "I love to fish, so maybe one day I will come here to go fishing and to enjoy the nature."

The eventual silver medallist Gerhard Pilz was not too upset about being beaten by his team mate: "These have been my 11th World Championships and I have won ten medals. I have been competing for 30 years now, and I can feels that I do not have this last bit of aggressiveness and the hunger I had maybe ten years ago. This makes the difference between the gold and the silver medal." The former five-times-World Champion and now again silver medallist will retire after the Grande Prairie World Championships: "I wanted to retire last year, but then I was injured and my whole last season was messed up. I did not want to quit like that, so I added one season. Now with finishing third in the overall World Cup and today´s silver medal I can retire with a good feeling."

Patrick Pigneter (ITA), who has been dominating the scene throughout the World Cup season finished third: "Personally I did expect a little bit more which I think I could have considering my performance during the whole season. But I did not like the track very much and after being disqualified in the double seater event, I think I made the best out of it."

The best career result achieved Kaj Johnson who came 11th:"This result is a milestone for me and also for Canadian luge, so far my best result in World Championships has been a 30th place", he said. "It is a result of hard work and a lot of training. I also like the track very much, it is a track for driving without twisty turns."

Final Results Women:

1. Ekatharina LAVRENTJEVA (RUS), 1:18,16(1), 1:17,80(1), 1:17,31(1), 3:53,27
2. Julia VETLOVA (RUS), 1:18,75(2), 1:19,09(3), 1:17,58(2), 3:55,42
3. Melanie BATKOWSKI (AUT), 1:19,44(4), 1:19,44(5), 1:17,86(3), 3:56,74
4. Renate GIETL (ITA), 1:19,23(3), 1:18,96(2), 1:18,76(4), 3:56,95
5. Marlies WAGNER (AUT), 1:19,71(5), 1:19,24(4), 1:19,51(6), 3:58,46
6. Renate KASSLATTER (ITA), 1:20,54(10), 1:19,66(7), 1:19,18(5), 3:59,38
7. Kinga GAWLAS (POL), 3:59,45
8. Michaela MAURER (GER), 3:59,71
9. Barbara ABART (ITA), 4:00,21
10. Tina UNTERBERGER (AUT), 4:00,91
11. Melissa JONES (CAN), 4:17,87

Final Results Men:

1. Gernot SCHWAB (AUT), 1:17,10(2), 1:17,05(1), 1:17,23(1), 3:51,38
2. Gerhard PILZ (AUT), 1:17,02 (1), 1:17,48(5), 1:17,92(6), 3:52,42
3. Patrick PIGNETER (ITA), 1:17,72(4), 1:17,14(2), 1:17,68(3), 3:52,54
4. Martin PSENNER (ITA), 1:17,81(5), 1:17,47(4), 1:17,30(2), 3:52,58
5. Florian BREITENBERGER (ITA), 1:17,52(3), 1:17,38(3), 1:17,80(4), 3:52,70
6. Thomas KAMMERLANDER (AUT), 1:18,03(6), 1:18,19(10), 1:17,82(5), 3:54,04
7. Gerald KAMMERLANDER (AUT), 3:54,11
8. Florian CLARA (ITA), 3:54,83
9. Christian WICHAN (GER), 3:55,09
10. Georg MAURER (GER), 3:55,23
11. Kaj JOHNSON (CAN), 3:55,45
16. John GIBSON (CAN), 3:56,31
23. Greg JONES (CAN), 4:00,59
28. Corey PUSEY (CAN), 4:04,75

FIL Media Service