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Jeff Christie Cracks Top-15 to Lead Canadian Men at Luge World Cup

Canadian luge squad places fifth in team relay

Canada’s Jeff Christie slid his way back into the top-15 in men’s singles at the luge World Cup in Königssee, Germany on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Calgarian fought his way into 15th spot despite struggling to find two consistent runs. The two-time Olympian had a clean opening run, but made a couple of costly mistakes in his second trip down the reconstructed Königssee track to clock a two-run time of 1:42.793.

“We know that we can be in the top-10 but we have to be more consistent. That is the difference each week right now,” said Wolfgang Staudinger, head coach, Canadian Luge Team. “We are going to continue to work hard, get run volume and keep working on having two consistent runs.”

Christie’s World Cup teammates, Sam Edney and Brendan Hauptman, finished 17th and 18th respectively. Calgary’s Edney, who finished seventh at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, clocked-in at 1:42.907, while Hauptman, of Kimberly, B.C., posted a two-run time o f1:42.954.

Italy’s Armin Zoggeler continues to roll after winning his 53rd career World Cup. The Italian posted a winning time of 1:41.259. Russia’s Albert Demchenko slid to the sliver medal at 1:41.616, while Italy’s Reinhild Rainer was third (1:41.668).

Following the men’s race, the third team relay event was held in Germany. The Canadian squad of Calgary’s Alex Gough, Edney and Justin Snith, Calgary, and Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., teamed up to finish in fifth spot at 2:47.176.

The team relay, which the International Luge Federation is trying to get onto the Olympic lineup, consists of one men’s singles sled, a women’s sled and one men’s doubles sled. Athletes take one trip down the track, and punch a button once getting off the track to open the gates for their teammate at the start. The clock continues to run until all athletes on the team have crossed the finish line. Canada has done well in the team events, having won a silver medal earlier this year.

The dominant German team finished on top Thursday with a time of 2:45.971. Austria was second at 2:46.179, while Italy grabbed the bronze (2:46.570).

The Canadian team will train in Königssee over the weekend before continuing their tour of German tracks in Oberhof next week.

The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of its title sponsor, Fast Track Capital, along with the support from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation_s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.

COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Men’s Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Armin Zoggeler, ITA, 1:41.259; 2. Albert Demchenko, RUS, 1:41.616; 3. Reinhold Rainer, ITA, 1:41.668; 4. David Moller, GER, 1:41.706; 5. Felix Loch, GER, 1:41.717
Canadian Results:
15. Jeff Christie, Calgary, 1:42.793; 17. Sam Edney, Calgary, 1:42.907; 18. Brendan Hauptman, Kimberly, B.C., 1:42.954

Team Relay Results:
1. Germany, 2:45.971; 2. Austria, 2:46.179; 3. Italy, 2:46.570; 4. United States, 2:46.834; 5. Canada, 2:47.176