TWO CANADIAN SLEDS DRIVE INTO TOP-15 AT LUGE WORLD CUP IN GERMANY
Battling sleet rain and one of the most difficult long and flat starts on the international circuit, the 24-year-old Calgarian finished 13th after clocking a two-run time of one minute 50.138 seconds in Winterberg, Germany on Saturday.
The Germans are freaking fast on this start and we knew that coming in, said Christie. It is a long, straight ramp that requires sheer power.
In luge power is one thing, but consistent sliding is another.
I actually slid pretty clean today and my sled ran pretty good despite the sleet sticking to the track, said the leader of the mens team. My second run there were a few spots that I made mistakes that scrubbed some time. I need to continue working on my consistency, but overall Im happy.
Christie, who finished sixth on his home track in Calgary two weeks ago, knows where he stands with the worlds best, and what he needs to do to get better.
I can perform better in Calgary because Ive slid there a billion times but I know I rank in a group from eight-to-15 so if I finish in that group Im satisfied, said Christie. Getting out of that group requires lots of summer training and winter sliding volume so I know the work that needs to be done.
Two other Canadian men from Calgary will be following Christies lead in the teams long-term pursuit of the international podium. Ian Cockerline, who is now sliding into the top-20 on a regular basis, finished 19th (1:50.541) on Saturday. Matt McMurray, who is the 2007 Canadian mens champion, was 23rd (1:50.802).
Germanys David Möller won his second-straight World Cup race after sliding into the winners circle with a combined time of 1:49.158. Armin Zöggeler, of Italy, grabbed the silver (1:49.436), while Switzerlands Stefan Höhener locked up the bronze after posting a combined time of 1:49.556.
Canadas Moffat brothers, Chris and Mike, slid into 12th place in mens doubles action. The Calgary-based brothers posted a combined time of 1:30.33 on the Winterberg track. Grant Albrecht, of Red Deer, Alta., and Eric Pothier, of Airdrie, Alta., also teamed up to finish 16th at 1:31.080.
Italys Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber reached the podium for the second straight week, winning gold with a leading time of 1:29.086. Austrias Tobias and Markus Schiegl were second at 1:29.112, while Germanys Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch slid into third (1:29.152).
Meanwhile, Canadas next generation of elite luge athletes were down the road competing at the Junior World Cup in Igls, Austria.
Calgarys Tristan Walker, who is developing into one of the most talented junior luge athletes in the history of the Canadian program, won his second medal of the year in the mens Youth A division. The 16-year-old Walker posted a two-run time of 1:20.625 to win the bronze medal. Germanys Julian von Schleinitz blasted his way back to the top of the podium with a time of 1:20.477.
Calgarys Denae Delcourt posted her best result ever on the Junior World Cup where she was seventh in the junior womens division. Delcourt steered her way down the Austrian track in a time of 1:22.114. Germanys Steffi Sieger took home the womens gold after setting the time to beat at 1:20.479.
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 nations 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 Mens Singles Results:
1.David Möller, GER, 1:49.158; 2. Armin Zöggeler, ITA, 1:49.436; 3. Stefan Höhener, SUI, 1:49.556; 4. Daniel Pfister, AUT, 1:49.644; 5. Andi Langenhan, GER, 1:49.67.
13. Jeff Christie, Calgary, 1:50.138; 19. Ian Cockerline, Calgary, 1:50.541; 23. Matt McMurray, Calgary, 1:50.802.
Top-5 Mens Doubles Results:
1. Oberstolz/Gruber, ITA, 1:29.086; 2. Schiegl/Schiegl, AUT, 1:29.112; 3. Leitner/Resch, GER, 1:29.152; 4. Florschqtz/Wustlich, GER, 1:29.289; 5. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:29.354.
12. Moffat/Moffat, Calgary, 1:30.033; 16. Albrecht, Red Deer, Alta./Pothier, Airdrie, Alta., 1:31.080.