Canada’s Tristan Walker and Justin Snith Sniff World Cup Luge Podium in Whistler
WHISTLER, B.C.—Canada’s luge athletes slid agonizingly close to their first World Cup podiums at home on Saturday in Whistler, B.C.
The Canadian doubles tandem of Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary’s Justin Snith, matched their career-best finish in fourth place, while Calgary’s Sam Edney slid into sixth spot.
Sitting in sixth place after the opening bomb down the 2010 Olympic track, Walker and Snith's podium dreams were shattered by two one-hundredths of a second after clocking a two-run time of 1:13.378.
“We know we are right there,” said the 22-year-old Walker. “A little more consistency in our sliding, it is definitely going to come. We are so close, but that’s racing in luge. We are definitely capable of pushing into the top-three.”
The Germans dominated in Whistler grabbing the top-two spots on the podium. Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt grabbed the gold medal with a time of 1:13.087, while Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken slid to the silver medal at 1:13.171. Austria’s Peter Penz and Georg Fishcler rounded out the podium in third with a time of 1:13.351.
It was the fourth time in their young career that the Canadian duo has been nudged off the podium. The last time they finished fourth was nearly one year ago at the 2013 World Championships at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
“The Germans can be beaten and we know that. They are human and not robots,” said Justin Snith, who will turn 22 on Sunday. “It’s a matter of catching them on the right day, and us having a good day. The first two races were tough for us this year so it was good to bounce back today.”
Canada’s Sam Edney can also taste his first podium in men’s singles racing. The 29-year-old, two-time Olympian posted his third straight sixth-place World Cup finish on Friday night after clocking a two-run time of 1:37.106.
“It is a great result and I know it is that close to the podium. That is inspiring and motivating for me,” said the 11-year veteran of the Canadian Luge Team. “The sled is running great and I’m thrilled with where I am at right now. There is a lot on the line these days. Guys are pushing for Olympic spots and it is great to know that I’m in the mix when that much is on the line. It is so close and I know I can be there.”
Germany’s Felix Loch slid to the top step of the podium in Whistler for the second-straight year with a golden time of 1:36.686. Chris Mazdzer, of the United States, celebrated the first podium finish of his career with a time of 1:36.978, while Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller locked up the bronze medal with a time of 1:36.981.
Other Canadian results included Calgary’s Mitchel Malyk in 19th (1:37.800), and Calgary’s John Fennell in 24th (1:38.048).
The lone Canadian stop on the World Cup wraps up on Saturday in Whistler with women's singles and the team relay.
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 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
Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:13.087; 2. Eggert/Benecken, GER, 1:13.171; 3. Penz/Fischler, AUT, 1:13.351; 4. Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Snith, Calgary, CAN, 1:13.378; 5. Linger/Linger, AUT, 1:13.420.
Men’s Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Felix Loch, GER, 1:36.686; 2. Chris Mazdzer, USA, 1:36.978; 3. Dominik Fischnaller, ITA, 1:36.981; 4. David Moller, GER, 1:37.021; 5. Andi Langenhan, GER, 1:37.051
6. Sam Edney, Calgary, 1:37.106; 19. Mitchel Malyk, Calgary, 1:37.800; 24. John Fennell, Calgary, 1:38.048