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Canadian Teenager Reid Watts Tracking in Right Direction at Luge World Cup in Austria

Watts finishes in 22nd, fractions of a second out of top-10 in deep men’s field

IGLS, Aut.—Canada’s Reid Watts may be leaving the season-opening luge World Cup with a 22nd-place result, but he is showing tremendous promise finishing just over two-tenths of a second out of a top-10 finish in an extremely deep men’s singles field.

The lone Canadian to qualify to hit the start handles for the season-opening World Cup men’s singles race proved he is ready to step up and carry the torch for the next generation of Canadian sliders, after clocking a time of 1:40.964.

“That was a really strong performance by Reid. Last year he didn’t even qualify in Igls, and by earning a start he is showing positive development and tracking in the right direction,” said Wolfgang Staudinger, head coach, Canadian Luge Team. “This is a really competitive men’s field. His mistakes are not massive, so this gives me a lot of confidence we are on the right track.”

The 19-year-old slider born out of the legacy of the 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Olympic Games clocked the 11th-fastest start times in each of his two blasts down the 14-corner, 1,227-metre track.

“Those are two really competitive starts he had,” added Staudinger. “His sliding is just a little rough on the edges and he needs more run volume on this track to be better.”

Germany’s Johannes Ludwig locked up the first gold medal of the 2018-19 season with a two-run time of 1:40.294. Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller stopped the clock at 1:40.392 for the silver, while Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl brought the hometown crowd to its feet with a third-place time of 1:40.438.

Complete Men’s Singles Results:

The world will now travel across the pond to Canada. Luge Canada will host the second and third stops of the Viessmann Luge World Cup. The Whistler Sliding Centre will welcome the fastest athletes on ice, November 30 and December 1, before traveling to Calgary for a series of races December 7-8.

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.