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Chris and Mike Moffat Lead Canadian Charge with 10th-Place Finish at Season-Opening World Cup in Calgary

Rookies Justin Snith and Tristan Walker Finish 13th in First-Ever World CupIt wasn't the start to the season they planned for, but Canada's Chris and Mike Moffat will look to build on a 10th-place finish posted in the season-opening World Cup doubles luge race at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary on Friday night.

The Calgary brothers struggled down the 14-corner track after a difficult start in their opening run, which put them well back of the pack of the world's best doubles luge athletes. The Moffat brothers clocked a two-run time of one minute 28.639 seconds.

This was probably the worst start to the season that we could have imagined, but I guess it can only get better from here, said Mike Moffat, the youngest of two brothers at 27 years old. We love sliding here in Calgary because of all the support, but it is sometimes the hardest. We'll look to get better from this.

While the Moffats were disappointed, two Canadian rookies, Justin Snith and Tristan Walker, teamed up to finish 13th in their first-ever World Cup on their home track.

The Calgary teenagers, who lit up the Junior World Cup circuit last year which culminated with a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships, clocked a two-run time of 1:28.655.

I think we have to be pleased with this result being our first senior World Cup start, said the 17-year-old Snith, who added the team needs to be in the top-20 in the overall World Cup standings to qualify their sled for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Our goal was to finish top-20 tonight and we did that so for sure we are happy.

The two Canucks actually were positioned for a stellar finish in their World Cup debut after sitting in ninth place after the opening run under mild and calm conditions on the western edge of Calgary.

We were thrilled with that first run, but we just had a problem at the start of our second run which took away all of our speed, said Walker, 18, who also graduated from high school last spring. Those mistakes happen and maybe the nerves got to us a bit. We overdid it at the start, but we will learn from that and continue to get experience.

Germany's Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch clocked the winning time of 1:27.855, while Andre Florschutz and Torsten Wustlich, also of Germany, were second at 1:27.886. Italy's Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber, rounded out the podium in third at 1:28.039.

Prior to the men's doubles race, the world's top seeded athletes took part in the Challenge Cup competition - a head-to-head dash for cash in men's and women's singles and men's doubles. Calgary's Alex Gough led the Canadian charge finishing in third spot in the women's event.

Gough along with her Canadian teammates will take part in singles racing Saturday in Calgary. The women's race hits the start line at 2:40 p.m., while the men's singles competition gets under way at 5:15 p.m.

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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FOR COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
1.Leitner/Resch, GER, 1:27.855; 2. Florschutz/Wustlich, GER, 1:27.886; 3. Oberstolz/Gruber, ITA, 1:28.039; 4. Linger/Linger, AUT, 1:28.059; 5. Schiegl/Schiegl, AUT, 1:28.147.
Canadian Results:
10. Moffat/Moffat, Calgary, 1:28.639; 12. Snith/Walker, Calgary, 1:28.665