Doubles Luge Team Justin Snith and Tristan Walker Bumped off Podium at Winterberg World Cup
WINTERBERG, Ger.— Justin Snith and Tristan Walker were the top Canadians at the final luge World Cup stop of the year in Winterberg, Germany but make no mistake about it – they are not happy to finish off the podium.
Sitting in third spot after their first tip down the 15-curve track, the Canadian duo had the first medal of the season in their hands until corner 11 where a mistake bumped them down into eighth place with a time of 1:27.341.
“This is a sport that is won and lost in thousandths of a second. There is no margin for error if you want to be with the top-three,” said Wolfgang Staudinger, head coach, Canadian Luge Team. “The guys made a small mistake out of 11 and then went early into 12 which cost us big time today.”
The day was reminiscent of Walker and Snith’s World Championship result last week where they dropped out of the medals following a disappointing final run.
“Consistency is key in luge and this has been a problem for us this year,” added Staudinger, who said the Canadians also pulled the second-fastest start times in both heats. “We know we can be there, we just have to keep our focus for two runs.”
Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken led wire-to-wire to capture the final gold medal of the season. The Germans clocked a winning time of 1:26.473. Fellow Germans – Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt – were second at 1:26.863, while Latvia’s Oskars Gudramovics and Peteris Kalnins slid to the bronze medal at 1:27.055.
Canada also sent two sleds to the start line for the women’s race. Calgary’s Arianne Jones had one of her best results of the season finishing 10th. Strong starts had the 25 year old in the mix with the top five on the top half of the track through both runs, but once crossing the finish line finished 10th at 1:53.901.
Kim McRae, who also resides in Calgary, was not able to build on the momentum from a successful World Championships. Inconsistency got the best of her, dropping her to 14th at 1:54.133.
“It was a good day for Arianne. She maximized her potential for the day with two good starts and two solid runs,” said Staudinger. “Kim had been sliding well in training all week, but just couldn’t bring it into the race. Too many little mistakes. We just weren’t fast enough but we have to be happy with the women’s results today.”
The Germans also grabbed the top-two spots on the women’s podium. Tatjana Huefner clocked the golden time of 1:53.009. Natalie Geisenberger was second at 1:53.138. Russia’s Tatiana Ivanova slid to the bronze medal after stopping the clock at 1:53.368.
The final day of the World Cup season takes place on Sunday with the men’s singles and team relay races.
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.
Doubles Results: http://www.fil-luge.org/cdn/uploads/rl2wcdoubles-4.pdf
Women’s Singles Results: http://www.fil-luge.org/cdn/uploads/rl2wcwomen-5.pdf