Regan Lauscher Slides to Season-Best Ninth-Place Finish at Luge World Cup in Germany
Lauscher, of Red Deer, Alta., who has struggled throughout her career in Oberhof had one last chance to conquer the relatively short 11-curve beast. Lauscher had one of her best runs of the year in the second heat to post a two-run time of one minute 27.220 seconds.
It is definitely a track I have to focus on extremely well to put together two good runs for whatever reason, said Lauscher. My second run I really worked on my sliding and let the sled run as much as I could and it is good feeling to know I can do it.
The 29-year-old Lauscher, who also finished 10th at the season-opening Calgary World Cup this year, has battled a long road back to elite form over the last four years where she has had to overcome double-shoulder surgery and injuries sustained in a 2007 crash on the World Cup in Altenberg, Germany.
This morning I just woke up and said this is the last time I'm going to be here in Germany to race and I wanted to do this for me, said Lauscher whose father David carried the Olympic Torch on Friday afternoon in Wetaskiwin, Alta. I have had a lot of challenges over the last couple of years and knowing it is the last race I will have here I am pretty proud with that result today.
The only Canadian luge athlete to have won a World Cup silver medal when she hopped on the podium in Lake Placid in 2004, Saturday's result gives Lauscher a boatload of confidence heading into her third Olympic Winter Games where she will wrap up a 13-year career on her home track.
Yes I think it does give me confidence knowing that I can still be there if I really work on my sliding, added Lauscher. I am looking forward to getting back to Canada and racing in Whistler which is such a fast and fun track. I will be trying to get into that top-eight and who knows what can happen.
Calgary's Alex Gough, who has been threatening the World Cup podium over the last two years, was in seventh spot after the opening run, but fell back to 12th place in Oberhof after clocking a two-run time of 1:27.346. Regina's Meaghan Simister finished 19th at 1:27.798.
The Germans swept the women's podium. Tatjana Hüfner set a new track record in her opening run at 42.920 en route to setting the time to beat at 1:25.936. Anke Wischnewski was second at 1:26.203, while Natalie Geisenberger completed the sweep in third (1:26.322).
Meanwhile, Chris and Mike Moffat finished as the top Canadians in the men's doubles race. The Calgary brothers finished in 11th spot with a two-run time of 1:26.924. Canada's other sled driven by teenagers, Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary's Justin Snith, were 15th at 1:27.633.
The Germans swept the podium in the doubles race. Andre Florschutz and Torsten Wustlich finished on top of the podium after posting a time of 1:25.567. Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt teamed up for the silver medal at 1:25.633, while Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch clocked-in at 1:26.001 to claim the bronze.
The final German stop on the World Cup wraps up on Sunday with men's singles racing.
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COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Women's Top-Five Results:
1. Tantjana Hüfner, GER, 1:25.936; 2. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:26.203; 3. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:26.322; 4. Nataliia Yakushenko, UKR, 1:26.408; 5. Corinna Martini, GER, 1:26.562.
Other Canadian Results:
9. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., 1:27.220; 12. Alex Gough, Calgary, 1:27.346; 19. Meaghan Simister, Regina, 1:27.798.
Men's Doubles Top-Five Results;
1.Florschütz/Wustlich, GER, 1:25.567; 2. Wendl/Wendl, GER, 1:25.633; 3. Leitner/Resch, GER, 1:26.001; 4. Linger/Linger, AUT, 1:26.027; 5. Plankensteiner/Haselrieder, ITA, 1:26.127.
11. Chris and Mike Moffat, Calgary, 1:26.924; 15. Tristan Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Justin Snith, Calgary, 1:27.633.