Canadian Luge Athletes Slide to Silver in World Cup Relay
KONIGSSEE, Ger.—A confident Canadian squad won their second silver medal of the season in a World Cup relay on Sunday in Konigssee, Germany.
Led by Calgary’s 25-year-old Alex Gough who put down the fastest run of the day against the top women in the world, fellow Calgarians – Sam Edney and doubles tandem of Justin Snith and Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., completed the track to the podium while clocking a combined time of 2:44.554.
“We have a lot of confidence going into the relay as a team and that is the key thing,” said 28-year-old Sam Edney. “Alex throwing down the best run of the day and the doubles having one of their best runs of the week – you just can’t go wrong when you have that on your side.”
Germany won the event with a time of 2:43.710. Austria grabbed the bronze at 2:45.242.
The team competition, which is a one-run bomb race, consists of one female sled, one male sled and one doubles team sled. Each sled completes one run for a combined final time. In an effort to make the event more exciting for the teams and spectators, the International Luge Federation introduced the relay-type system that had the athletes hitting a pad at the finish, which in turn opens the gate at the start for the next team member.
Canada has had success in the event over the last four years, and won a silver medal earlier this year in Igls, Austria.
“We are really happy to get back on the podium,” beamed 21-year-old Tristan Walker. “The key to success for us is consistency. All three sleds have to be on and we were able to do that today. Even in doubles, luge is an individual sport so to be able to compete with your teammates is really exciting. You really feed off each other at the start.”
The relay will make its Olympic debut at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
“It is nice to show we still have it, but there remains a gap between us and the Germans and we need to focus on closing that,” said Edney, a 10-year veteran of the World Cup team. “When we broke into the medals a few years ago we were a young team with potential. We have all matured to the point where we know what we want to achieve, and can achieve. Our focus will be winning the World Championships in Whistler in a few weeks.”
Earlier in the day, Edney posted his best-ever result in Konigssee after sliding to 13th spot in the men’s singles race.
Edney, who had a solid opening run, dropped two spots in the standings after a difficult second run down the 1,250-metre track in a combined time of 1:40.602.
“The men’s field is so competitive that if you’re not always pushing yourself and going for more you will get left behind,” said Edney.
Germany’s David Moller won the men’s race with a time of 1:39.526, while Russia’s Albert Demchenko slid to the silver at 1:39.590 and Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller clocked a bronze-medal time of 1:39.747.
The World Cup now travels to Oberhof, Germany.
The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization 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
Team Relay Results:
1. Germany, 2:43.710; 2. Canada, 2:44.544; 3. Austria, 2:45.242; 4. Latvia, 2:46.136; 5. United States, 2:46.192.
Men’s Top-Five Results:
1. David Moller, 1:39.526; 2. Albert Demchenko, RUS, 1:39.590; 3. Dominik Fischnaller, ITA, 1:29.747; 4. Felix Loch, GER, 1:39.783; 5. Julian van Schleinitz, GER, 1:39.814.
13. Sam Edney, Calgary, 1:40.602
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