Luge Canada

Canadian Team Begins Turning Corner on Track to Success at Luge World Cup in Germany

Jeff Christie leads Canadian charge sliding into 11th spotKÖNIGSSEE, GER.—Jeff Christie led a trio of Canadian men into the top of the pack with an 11th-place performance at the Luge World Cup in Königssee, Germany on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Calgarian overcame heavy rain, a slick track and two short mistakes in his first run to clock a two-run time of one minute 35.349 seconds.

It wasnt my best performance, but I am happy with my result today, said Christie, who finished ninth on the German track last season. This is not a track that I dont like coming to. I do enjoy it and Ive had some good results here.

Christies teammates, Sam Edney and Ian Cockerline, also enjoyed their stint in Königssee where they had extensive training which included 15 runs, more than the traditional six athletes have to prepare for a World Cup race. The Calgary-based Olympians, Edney and Cockerline, finished 17th (1:35.697) and 22nd (1:36.211) respectively.

Canadas top luge athletes are beginning to see the results of the initial ingredients needed to achieve success  a new coach, and the proper tools needed to win. With the help of Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association recruited Wolfgang Staudinger from Germany to guide the Canadian squad beyond the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The difference this year is Staudie is telling us to just slide and not worry about what were sliding on or the other things around the race, said Christie. We are starting to see better results as a team because we are having good consistent runs and that is the key.

While the Canadians still have a long way to go to be regular podium contenders, the team is heading in the right direction.

I think we are slowly seeing improvement and the athletes are starting to have more consistent performances, said Staudinger who added the team had an excellent training week in Germany. We had 15 runs down this track this week to get the athletes comfortable with this difficult start ramp, and it shows that if you are given the tools, you can perform. We need to continue making sure we supply them with the proper tools in Canada, and the results will come, but we are starting to turn a corner.

While the Canadians continue to inch their way to the podium, it was Russias Albert Demtschenko who had control of it on Sunday. Demtschenko posted a golden two-run time of 1:34.754. Italys Armin Zöggeler was second at 1:34.763, while David Möller, of Germany, rounded out the podium in third (1:34.800).

The Canadian team will have two weeks of training before hitting the start house for the 2008 World Luge Championships in Oberhof, Germany, January 21-27.

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 on the Internet.

Mens Top-Five Results:

1. Albert Demtschenko, RUS, 1:34.754; 2. Armin Zöggeler, ITA, 1:34.73; 3. David Möller, GER, 1:34.800; 4. Felix Loch, GER, 1:34.816; 5. Jan Eichhorn, GER, 1:34.873.

Canadian Results:

11. Jeff Christie, Calgary, 1:35.349; 17. Sam Edney, Calgary, 1:35.697; 22. Ian Cockerline, Calgary, 1:36.211.