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Canada's World Cup Luge Rookie Arianne Jones Slides into Top-15

Teenage Alberta duo, Walker and Snith, team up to finish 11th in Doubles

IGLS, Aut.—A new-look Canadian Luge Team slid into the post-Olympic season with a World Cup rookie leading the way in Igls, Austria on Saturday.

Calgary’s Arianne Jones, who has spent the last two years on the junior team, took a huge step forward in her development into an elite slider by finishing in 15th spot in her first-ever World Cup race. The 20-year-old clocked a two-run time of one minute 20.582 seconds (1:20.582).

“This is a very strong result for Arianne who is very young and small compared to the rest of the athletes,” said Wolfgang Staudinger, head coach, Canadian Luge Team. “Her starts continue to need work, but the biggest thing is she had two very consistent runs which is very impressive.”

The leader of the Canadian woman’s squad, Alex Gough, had a bittersweet day en route to finishing in 21st spot with a time of 1:21.365. The two-time Olympian, who has posted some of the best Canadian luge results ever over the last two years, including a fourth-place finish at the 2009 World Championships, crashed in her opening run before clocking one of the fastest times of the day in her second trip down the track.

Germany grabbed the first two spots on the women’s podium. Tatjana Hüfner set the time to beat at 1:19.594, while her teammate, Natalie Geisenberger, slid to the silver medal after posting a combined time of 1:19.802. Erin Hamlin, of the United States, prevented the German sweep by sliding the bronze medal position on the podium with a time of 1:19.974.

Canada also fielded two 19-year-olds out of Alberta in the men’s doubles race on Saturday. Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary’s Justin Snith, teamed up to post a solid 11th-place finish with a combined time of 1:19.693.

“These guys are still very young and need to get more experience, but this is a very good result for them,” said Staudinger. “They are both great athletes and heading in the right direction. With more experience and work they will continue to develop and get better.”

Olympic doubles’s champions, Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger, of Austria, thrilled the hometown crowd by winning with a time of 1:18.946. Italy’s Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber were second at 1:19.127, while Austria’s Peter Penz and Georg Fischler rounded out the doubles podium with a time of 1:19.142.

The Austrian stop on the World Cup wraps up on Sunday with men’s singles and team racing.

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
Women’s Top-Five Results:
1.Tatjana Hüfner, GER, 1:19.594; 2. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:19.802; 3. Erin Hamilin, USA, 1:19.974; 4. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:20.049; 5. Ashley Walden, USA, 1:20.091
Canadian Results:
15. Arianne Jones, Calgary, 1:20.582; 21. Alex Gough, Calgary, 1:21.365


Men’s Doubles Top-Five Results;
1. Linger/Linger, AUT, 1:18.946; 2. Oberstolz/Grubert, ITA, 1:19.127; 3. Penz/Fischer, AUT, 1:19.142; 4. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:19.162; 5. Niccum/Terdiman, USA, 1:19.285.
Canadian Results:
11. Tristan Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Justin Snith, Calgary, 1:19.693


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FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Chris Dornan
Media and Public Relations
Canadian Luge Association
T: 281-703-4394