Canadian Luge Tandem Tristan Walker and Justin Snith Slide to 12th at World Cup Opener in Austria
IGLS, Aut.—It wasn’t the result Tristan Walker and Justin Snith were hoping for, but the new leaders of the Canadian luge squad will look to build on a 12th-place finish at the World Cup opener in Igls, Austria on Saturday.
The Olympic silver medallists clocked a two-run time of 1:20.487 on the 10-corner track to finish just outside the top-10.
“The result was disappointing for us, but it felt really good to be racing again,” said Walker (Cochrane, Alta.).
Competing in their 10th season on the World Cup, the 27-year-old Canucks pulled the fastest start in the opening heat. They backed that up with putting down the second-fastest start time in their final blast down the relatively flat icy chute.
“Pulling a first-place start is something we’re going to be taking with us back home,” added Walker. “I think we risked a bit too much with the setup (of the sled) but that is what this season is going to be about. We are going to push our limits.”
Austria’s Thomas Steu and Lorenze Koller successfully defended their home track, clocking the top runs in both heats to win the gold medal with a time of 1:19:476.
Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken were second at 1:19.656, while Russia’s Vladislav Yuzhakov and Iurii Prokhorov slid to the bronze with a time of 1:19.758.
Earlier in the day, a group of Canadian teenagers hit the start handles for the women’s singles race.
Calgary’s 18-year-old Carolyn Maxwell, who was inspired to try luge by family friend Justin Snith, led the young Canadian women with a 19th place finish. Maxwell posted a time of 1:20.413 in her first World Cup start.
Olympic teenager, Brooke Apshkrum, finished behind her Canadian mate in 20th. The 19-year-old Calgarian clocked-in at 1:20.448. Reigning Canadian Champion, Kyla Graham (Calgary) was 27th at 1:20.722, while Makena Hodgson (Calgary) was 28th with a time of 1:56.545.
Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger captured her 44th World Cup title with a combined time of 1:19.619. Germany’s Julia Taubitz slid to the silver medal at 1:19.655. Tatjana Huefner completed the German sweep of the podium with a bronze-medal time of 1:19.885.
The men’s singles race is slated for Sunday. Canada will host the second and third stops of the Viessmann Luge World Cup. The world will slide into the Whistler Sliding Centre, November 30 and December 1, before traveling to Calgary for a series of races December 7-8.
Complete Doubles Results:
Complete Women’s Singles Results:
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