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CANADIAN LUGE ATHLETES MAINTAIN PATIENCE FOR LONG ROAD TO PODIUM

Jeff Christie finishes 16th, Sam Edney 19th, Ian Cockerline 24thWith high expectations set upon themselves to get Canada onto the international podium, the nation's best men's luge athletes remain patient for the enduring road ahead of them.

Now breaking the maple leaf into the top-20 on a consistent basis, Jeff Christie, Sam Edney and Ian Cockerline, took another small step forward towards achieving their ultimate goal.

The three Calgarians, who are best friends off the track, placed two sleds in the top-20 once again at a World Cup in Sigulda, Latvia on Sunday. Christie was 16th after clocking a two-run time of 1:40.219, while Edney was 19th (1:40.527).

I was happy with the week of training and I think it was a good race considering the little amount of run volume we've had on this track, said Edney, who now expects to be in the top-15 regularly and edge his way to the top-10 each week. This was my best result in Sigulda. I'm not thrilled with it, but also not completely disappointed.

Edney and Christie were joined in Sunday's race by teammate, Ian Cockerline, who finished 24th (1:40.915).

Bigger, stronger and faster out of the start gate now than ever before, thanks to an intense summer training program implemented by head coach Wolfgang Staudinger, the Canadian team is now focused on getting experience with run volumes on tracks around the world to break into that elite group with the top-10.

If you want to be there with the best you simply cannot afford to make mistakes, said Staudinger, who admits little run volume on European tracks versus North American venues makes it difficult to put down two perfect runs. The key is consistency. Right now, we are having one good run but we need two. It is a long road and it will take time, but we are making progress.

Recognizing the journey ahead, Edney and his World Cup comrades are ready for the challenge.

Part of the great thing about being an athlete is the development process, said Edney. I enjoy getting to the finish and hearing that I may have had a great start, or did certain little things right. These little rewards keep you going and hopefully one day, I can bring all of the good things together, and that will be the day I win a race.

Russia's Albert Demtschenko was nearly perfect on Sunday after clocking-in at 1:39.265. Italy's Armin Zöggeler slid onto the silver-medal position on the podium with a time of 1:39.411, while Germanys David Möller was third (1:39.500).

The Canadian Luge Team now heads to Winterberg, Germany for the third stop on the World Cup circuit, December 13-14, 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.

COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Men's Top-Five Results:
1. Albert Demtschenko, RUS, 1:39.265; 2. Armin Zöggeler, ITA, 1:39.411; 3. David Möller, GER, 1:39.500; 4. Guntis Rekis, LAT, 1:39.563; 5. Viktor Kneib, RUS, 1:39.638

Canadian Results:
16. Jeff Christie, Calgary, 1:40.219; 19. Sam Edney, Calgary, 1:40.427; 24. Ian Cockerline, Calgary, 1:40.915.

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