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Sam Edney Slides Shy of Podium at Luge World Cup in Whistler

Tristan Walker and Justin Snith place 10th in doubles action

WHISTLER, B.C.—Sam Edney missed the podium by a hair, but matched his career-best result on the World Cup with a fifth-place finish under the lights Friday in Whistler, B.C.

The 27-year-old Calgarian clocked the fourth-fastest time on his first trip down the lightening-quick 1,374-metre Olympic Track from men’s start, but dropped a spot in his final run to finish fifth with a combined time of one minute, 37.061 seconds (1:37.061).

“It’s a good feeling to get back to that spot where I know I can be. I had a tough start to the year, but we knew where we wanted to go with the sled, and with our equipment. We made some adjustments, made some changes and went more aggressive with the setup. It really worked,” said Edney. “This has got to be the best track in the world for sure. The speed, that feeling of the adrenaline rush and hearing the crowd as you are sliding down is one of the coolest things you can ever feel Whistler is really special.''

A two-time Olympian, Edney’s previous fifth-place finish came during the 2009-10 Olympic year in Calgary. He went on to post Canada’s best-ever men’s singles finish at the Olympics when he was seventh in Whistler.

“I know I can slide with the best of them. It’s clear to me where they have that edge, and that's at the start,” said Edney. “It motivates me to get to where I know I have to be physically at the start to catch them. There is a lot of sliding to be done, and I know I have a lot of time to try and catch them.”

The Germans swept the men’s podium. Felix Loch continued his dominance in Whistler climbing to the top of the podium once again. The 2010 Olympic champion set the time to beat at 1:36.480. Johannes Ludwig set a track start record of 6.930 in his opening run en route to winning the silver medal with a time of 1:36.758. David Möller clocked-in at 1:36.778 to secure the bronze.

Canada’s doubles tandem of Tristan Walker (Cochrane, Alta.) and Justin Snith (Calgary) were on pace for their best result after putting down the sixth fastest time in the opening decent on the 1,185-metre icy chute from doubles start. But the20-year-old duo struggled out of the gate in the final heat, and dropped to10th spot at 1:23.153.

“We had some trouble on the start of our second run and just lost speed coming down the track,” said Walker, who posted a career-best ninth-place finish two weeks ago in Igls, Austria with Snith. “We will learn from this. It is great to be back on this track and racing in front of our friends and family in Canada.”

Austria slid onto the top-two spots of the podium. Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger defended their Olympic title on the Whistler track after clocking the fastest two-run time at 1:22.644. Peter Penz and Georg Fischler claimed the silver with a time of 1:22.888. Italy’s Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber locked up the bronze medal 1:22.943.

The action heats up on Saturday at the Luge World Cup in Whistler with the women’s singles hitting the track at 3 p.m., followed by the team relay race at 6 p.m.

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 Results:

1. Felix Loch, GER, 1:36.480; 2. Johannes Ludwig, GER, 1:36.758; 3. David Möller, GER, 1:36.778; 4. Andi Langenhan, GER, 1:36.946; 5. Sam Edney, Calgary, CAN, 1:37.061.

Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Andreas Linger/Wolfgang Linger, AUT, 1:22.644; 2. Peter Penz/Georg Fischler, AUT, 1:22.888; 3. Christian Oberstolz/Patrick Gruber, ITA, 1:22.943; T4. Ronny Pietrasik/Christian Weise, GER, 1:22.973; T4. Toni Eggert/Sascha Benecken, GER, 1:22.973.

Canadian Results:

10. Tristan Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Justin Snith, Calgary, 1:23.153