Luge Canada


Canada's Meaghan Simister is now hungry for the podium after a breakthrough performance on Friday where she finished ninth at the Luge World Championships in Oberhof, Germany.

Known as one of the strongest athletes and fastest starters in the world at just 21 years of age, the fourth-year slider on the Canadian team has been gaining valuable experience and familiarity with tracks around the world. Sliding on her one of her favourite tracks on Friday, which was lined by thousands of screaming German fans who took in the World Championships, the Regina native had her best finish ever at the World Cup level after clocking a two-run time of one minute 27.031 seconds.

My training has definitely been the difference and I knew it was a matter of time until it all came together in the races, said Simister. How you train generally is how you will race, and training has been really good. I just needed to get into that same mindset and nail it on race day and I had two good runs today so this is really good.

Despite still being a relative newcomer on the World Cup, Simister has posted some of the fastest starts each week against the world's best luge athletes, and is now focused on sliding consistently.

I'm not a veteran out here yet, but I'm no longer a beginner either so as time goes on I know it is going to get better as I get more comfortable, said Simister, whose previous best placing came during the 2004 season in Winterberg, Germany where she was 11th. There are so many things I've need to work on, but what I really need is to get kilometres down these tracks. It is starting to pay off and Im hungry for better results.

Additional experience has been one thing, world-leading coaching has been another key for the continued rise in the Canadian team's performances. Thanks to the efforts of Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Team recruited Wolfgang Staudinger from Germany to guide the Canadian luge troops through the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

He has pushed us all this year to levels we haven't done before, said Simister, who added the team did nine runs down the track this week in a 90-minute session when the previous norm was four runs in training. Getting time on the tracks is so important. Were doing so much training and we're all exhausted but results like today definitely make it all worthwhile.

Simister and the Canadian women still have a gap to close in order to challenge the German women who swept the podium on Friday. Tatjana Hqfner was first at 1:26.007, while Natalie Geisenberger claimed the silver medal at 1:26.047, and Silke Kraushaar-Pielach was third (1:26.149).

Regan Lauscher, of Red Deer, Alta., was the only other Canadian entered and finished 17th (1:27.809).

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 on the Internet.

Women's Singles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1.Tatjana Hqfner, GER, 1:26.007; 2. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:26.047; 3. Silke Kraushaar-Pielach, GER, 1:26.149; 4. Natalia Yakushenko, UKR, 1:26.296; 5. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:26.654.

Canadian Women Results:
9. Meaghan Simister, Regina, 1:27.031; 17. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., 1:27.809;