CANADIANS POST FLURRY OF PERSONAL BESTS AT LUGE WORLD CUP IN CALGARY
With gusty Chinook winds rolling through Canada Olympic Park on the western edge of Calgary, Christie used the hundreds of training runs taken over the last decade to his benefit, knowing how to battle winds to make his way down the Olympic track in the fastest time possible. The 24-year-old Calgarian matched his sixth-place finish from last year, which was also his personal best on the World Cup, with a two-run combined time of one minute 31.179 seconds.
"I have taken so many runs here in the wind so I do know exactly where it is going to blow and what it is going to do so I am comfortable with it and it is an advantage," said Christie. "If you even want to think about contending for the medals you have to put down two straight and consistent runs and I did that today so I am happy. Right now I feel I'm ranked solidly in the seven-to-15 group. If I continue to slide like I did today, I believe I can break out of that group and into the top."
Christie's Olympic and World Cup comrades, Sam Edney and Ian Cockerline, also had their personal best World Cup performances while sliding into the top-15. The 23-year-old Calgarians finished 12th (1:31.855) and 14th (1:31.896) respectively. Edney's previous best was 14th, while Cockerline matched his personal best World Cup finish which he slid to in Calgary at the 2003 World Cup. The 2007 Canadian luge champion, Matt McMurray, who posted the 10th fastest time in his opening run, settled for a 19th-place finish after stopping the clock at 1:32.194.
Germany's David Möller won his fourth-straight World Cup race on the Calgary track after sliding into the winners circle with a combined time of 1:30.390. Germany's Jan Eichhorn was second at 1:30.413, while the 2006 Olympic champion, Armin Zöggeler, of Italy, prevented the German sweep of the medals after stepping onto the bronze-medal position of the podium with a time of 1:30.451.
Canada's Moffat brothers, Chris and Mike, slid into the top-10 after posting two solid runs under the lights in men's doubles action. The Calgary-based brothers posted a combined time of 1:28.511 on their home track.
"This is the beginning of a new journey, with a new coach so we need to keep that in perspective," said Mike Moffat, the younger of the two siblings at 25 years old. "We made another step tonight by having two consistent runs. These are baby steps and we are obviously going to have lots more of them until we slide in Vancouver in 2010."
Germany's Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch, slid to the top of the mens doubles podium after clocking a two-run time of 1:27.499. Italy's Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber, finished second at 1:27.804, while Germany's Andre Florschqtz and Torsten Wustlich locked up the bronze medal position with a time of 1:27.807.
Meanwhile, Canada's next generation of elite luge athletes were also in action on Saturday as they were competing at the Junior World Cup in Winterberg, Germany. Calgary's Tristan Walker, who is developing into one of the most talented junior luge athletes in the history of the Canadian program, won a silver medal in men's Youth A division on Saturday. The 16-year-old Walker posted a two-run combined time of 1:30.569. Germany's Julian von Schleinitz finished in top spot with a time of 1:30.569.
The Canadian Luge Association is the governing body for luge racing in Canada. 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: www.fil.com
Top-5 Men's Singles Results:
1. David Möller, GER, 1:30.390; 2. Jan Eichhorn, GER, 1:30.413; 3. Armin Zöggeler, ITA, 1:30.451; 4. Albert Demtschenko, RUS, 1:30.473; 5. Martins Rubenis, LAT, 1:30.980.
6. Jeff Christie, Calgary, 1:31.179; 12. Sam Edney, Calgary, 1:31.855; 14. Ian Cockerline, Calgary, 1:31.896; 19. Matt McMurray, Calgary, 1:32.194.
Top-5 Men's Doubles Results:
1. Leitner/Resch, GER, 1:27.499; 2. Oberstolz/Gruber, ITA, 1:27.804; 3. Florschqtz/Wustlich, GER, 1:27.807; 4. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:27.833; 5. Schiegl/Schiegl, AUT, 1:28.013.
10. Moffat/Moffat, Calgary, 1:28.511; 15. Albrecht, Red Deer, Alta./Pothier, Airdrie, Alta., 1:28.874.