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Sam Edney Shatters Career-Best Result with Fifth-Place Finish at Luge World Cup in Calgary

Canadians post five of nine sleds in prestigious top-10 over opening World Cup weekendCALGARY—Canadas Sam Edney may have missed the podium by a blink of an eye, but he shattered his career-best result with a fifth-place finish at the season-opening Luge World Cup race at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary on Saturday night.

The 25-year-old Olympian, who has twice finished 12th in his seven years racing on the senior World Cup circuit, proved to the world Canada is ready to contend for a spot on the podium in luge after clocking a fifth-place two-run time of one minute 30.601 seconds.

I am absolutely thrilled. I have worked extremely hard this summer and this proves I have done all the right things to prepare me to race with the top sliders, said Edney, who pumped his fist to the cheering Canadian crowd at the finish line. I have been fast in training all week and I just wanted two consistent runs so this is a great start to the season for me.

Edney was more than consistent. The Calgary native was poised to strike for the podium after posting the fourth fastest opening run, with three of the worlds best sliders ahead of him, but dropped a spot in the final heat.

That was a new position for me to be up in the start house for that long and think about what you have to do, said Edney, who qualified for the race with the fastest time in the Nations Cup on Thursday. I just told myself I have been fast and sliding well all week, and if I do it one more time, I will hold my spot. I came close but am really happy.

Edney, who also finished ninth at the 2007 World Championships, was joined in the top-10 with teammate and best friend, Jeff Christie. The 26-year-old Calgarian finished ninth with a combined time of 1:30.601.

Our goal is always to have two fast starts and two consistent runs and I did that today so Im happy, said Christie. Getting into the top-10 in my first race of the year, I couldnt ask for a better start to the season. I am also just thrilled for Sam to have a great result too.

Italys Armin Zöggeler won for the second straight year in Calgary with a time of 1:30.068. Germanys David Möller was second at 1:30.124, while Russias Albert Demtschenko grabbed the bronze with a time of 1:30.166.

The Canadian charge into the top-10 didnt end with the men on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Alex Gough and Regan Lauscher, also slid the maple leaf into the elite top-10 on the leaderboard of the womens race.

Alex Gough matched her career-best World Cup result on her home track in Calgary, finishing sixth, while Lauscher was 10th.

The 22-year-old Gough, who made history last year when she posted the best-ever result for a Canadian at the World Championships when she finished fourth, clocked a two-run time of one minute 34.529 seconds.

I made a couple of mistakes at the top on both runs which you cant do, but I have to be happy as it is my Olympic qualifier, said Gough, who finished in third spot in Friday nights Challenge Cup dash-for-cash race. It is good to have a good result in the first race of the year verifying that I can still do it. I know I can continue to get better and will keep learning each run.

Goughs breakthrough season last year included six top-10 finishes.

The 29-year-old Lauscher, of Red Deer, Alta., rebounded after a difficult opening run to climb four spots in the second heat into 10th place at 1:35.051.

The German women swept the womens podium with Tatjana Hüfner finishing on top with a golden time of 1:33.691. Natalie Geisenberger was in the silver-medal position at 1:33.858, while Anke Wischnewski locked up third spot after stopping the clock at 1:34.024.

Three other Canadians also suited up Saturday. Reginas Meaghan Simister was 17th (1:35.687), and Calgarys Denae Delcourt finished 23rd (1:36.735) in womens racing, while Brendan Hauptman, of Kimberley, B.C., was 22nd (1:31.000) in the mens race.

Canada wrapped up the season-opening World Cup with a total of five top-10 finishes out of nine sleds entered in mens and womens singles and mens doubles racing.

During the awards ceremony, the Canadian Luge Association presented Svein Romstad of the International Luge Federation with a world-unique piece of wire-art designed to celebrate winter sport during the 2009 World Cup in Calgary.

Inspired by his nephew Tristan Walkers success competing internationally on the national junior team, Ontarios Lloyd Walker created the unique Winter Sport Series in an effort to generate excitement and awareness for some of Canadas exciting sport past-times.

Lloyd donated "The Luge" to the Race Organizing Committee to give as a gift to the International Luge Federation. For more information on the piece, please visit www.lloydwalkerdesign.com on the Internet

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 www.luge.ca on the Internet.

COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Mens Top-Five Results;
1. Armin Zöggeler, ITA, 1:30.068; 2. David Möller, GER, 1:30.124; 3. Albert Demtschenko, RUS, 1:30.166; 4. Felix Loch, GER, 1:30.221; 5. Sam Edney, Calgary, CAN, 1:30.260.
Other Canadian Results:
9. Jeff Christie, Calgary, 1:30.601; 22. Brendan Hauptman, Kimberley, B.C., 1:31.000

Womens Top-Five Results:
1.Tatjana Hüfner, GER, 1:33.691; 2. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:33.858; 3. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:34.024; 4. Corinna Martini, GER, 1:34.493; 5. Nina Reithmayer, AUT, 1:34.526
Other Canadian Results:
6. Alex Gough, Calgary, 1:34.529; 10. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., 1:35.051; 17. Meaghan Simister, Calgary, 1:35.687; 23. Denae Delcourt, Calgary, 1:36.735.

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