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CANADA'S JUNIOR LUGE ATHLETES SLIDE TO BRONZE MEDAL IN OPENING WORLD CUP EVENT OF THE SEASON

Tristan Walker and Justin Snith team up to win bronze medal, Canucks stack top-10 with stellar resultsCanada's Tristan Walker and Justin Snith got off to a blistering start to the World Cup season, claiming a bronze medal in the men's doubles race at the opening event on the Junior World Cup circuit in Cesana, Italy this weekend.

The Calgary teenagers, who were competing on the challenging 2006 Olympic track for the first time, overcame warm weather that made for slow, frosty conditions to secure a spot on the podium. The Canadian doubles sled was in sixth spot after the opening run, but charged to the podium with a nearly flawless second trip down the track.

It was a solid start for the season and I'm really proud of Tristan and Justin, said Kyle Connelly, head coach, Canadian Luge Team. This was a difficult race because it was their first time on the track and the conditions were anything but easy. To be that far behind after the first run, and find a way to get on the podium in the end is great to see.

Building on the momentum set in Friday's medal-winning performance, Canada's 17-year-old Tristan Walker challenged for the podium again in the junior men's singles race Saturday. Walker posted a fourth-place finish at one minute 44. 807 seconds. Germany's Ralf Palik was first at 1:44.419.

Calgary's Stefan Rath was 12th in junior men's racing at 1:45.891, while Justin Snith was 25th (1:47.730).

The Canadian women also turned in an impressive start to the season stacking the top-10 in youth women's racing. Calgary's Kimberly McCrae also narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth with a time of 2:11.208. Elena Corrigal was sixth at 2:11.487, while Jordan Smith was seventh (2:12.521). Russia's Uliana Eltzova was first at 2:08.990.

Two Canadian women also suited up in the junior division. Arianne Jones and Denae Delcourt finished 15th (1:56.467) and 19th (1:57.551) respectively.

The junior Canucks will now head to Königssee, Germany for the next stop of the World Cup, December 5-6, 2008.

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.

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