Luge Canada

Canada's Edney 10th after Day 1
By Kristina Rutherford
Posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 9:22 PM ET

Calgary's Sam Edney is sitting in 10th overall, the top Canadian after the first of two days of competition in men's singles luge.

The 25-year-old clocked a cumulative time of 1:37.547 after two runs on Saturday at the Whistler Sliding Centre, and is 0.545 seconds out of the bronze medal position.

Edney was sitting 11th overall after the opening run but moved up a spot with a quicker start-time (7.08s) in his second heat.

"It was a great second run. I put a lot of focus into the start and closing the gap between me and the Germans," Edney said. "If I want to stay close to them, it's going to happen at the start."

Vancouver-born Jeff Christie, competing in his second Olympics, clocked a two-run time of 1:37.785, good for 14th overall. He, too, moved up one spot in the standings with a strong second run.

Ian Cockerline of Calgary came in at 1:38.165 and is sitting in 21st.

Reigning world champion Felix Loch of Germany leads all sliders heading into Sunday's final heats. The 20-year-old clocked 1:36.570s, and is sitting 0.282s ahead of teammate David Möller.

"The second run, the start was not so good, but the time in the finish was okay," said Loch. "The first day of the Olympics, very good."

Moller, who slid to two-heat time of 1:36.852, won World Cup gold at Whistler last year.

Italy's Armin Zöggeler , the reigning Olympic champion and four-time Olympic medallist, came in at 1:37.002, third best on the day.

The third and fourth runs are slated for Sunday and will determine the medals.

The race began from a lower starting point than usual - dubbed 'Men's Olympic start' - in the wake of Friday's tragedy that saw Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili killed in a horrific training accident.

The flags were at half mast - and will remain at half mast for the duration of the competition - and flowers were at the Thunderbird turn, where the 21-year-old lost control before being thrown out of his sled, off the track, and into a metal support pole.

While Georgian athletes decided to remain at the Games and compete in honour of their fallen comrade, Georgian luger Levan Gureshidze pulled out of the competition on Saturday and did not compete.

Edney said it "means a lot" that the competition was able to go on.

"I'm thrilled that I can be competing, and so is everyone else," he said. "The crowds are really helping. It's amazing. These athletes here are the best in the world, and even after the tragedy yesterday, they're sliding their hearts out."

The Canadian sliders were greeted by a rowdy red and white fan contingent at the bottom of the track, toting cowbells and signs.