February 24, 2013, Sochi, Rus (ISN) – Canada’s luge squad will return to Sochi 2014 on a high note after winning the bronze medal in the team relay event at the final World Cup of the season on Sunday.
Calgarians Sam Edney and Alex Gough, along with doubles tandem Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary’s Justin Snith, clocked a third-place time of 2:51.954.
“We knew the Russians would be quick, and for all three sleds in the team relay we wanted to have runs that we know are up to our standards and potential,” said Sam Edney. “We did that, and also we learnt a lot about potential track conditions, equipment decisions and also where we individually have to improve our sliding. Overall we felt great walking away with a medal.”
The Canadian squad, who hopes to make history by winning the nation’s first-ever Olympic medal in the sport next year, has slid to the World Cup podium four times, including three silvers and a bronze, this year in the team relay. They also teamed up to capture a silver medal at the World Championships in Whistler, B.C. last month.
“We know where we want to get too, and now we have to set our sights on that,” said Edney. “The new season begins tomorrow. I Learnt a lot this year, and I feel motivated towards this summer and on to the next year to see if we can accomplish our goal.”
“The ultimate goal is for success here next year of course, but the truth is things are so tight. You can walk away with two medals if all goes right, or, finish off the podium twice and not have done much wrong,” said Wolfgang Staudinger, head coach, Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team. “If we do our work – whether it is a World Cup or Olympics, then we will have a positive result. Today was solid by all three sleds.”
Germany won the final World Cup team relay in Sochi with a time of 2:51.553. Russia was second at 2:51.709.
The team relay will make its Olympic debut in 2014. The team competition consists of one female sled, one male sled and one doubles team sled. Each athlete completes one run for a combined final time. Consistency amongst all three sliders is the key to success in the team event. Athletes hit a pad that hangs over the track at the finish, which in turn opens the gate at the start for the next team member.
Earlier in the day, Canada’s two-time Olympian, Sam Edney, had a tough opening decent down the Sochi track to finish 25th in the men’s singles race. Edney clocked a time of 1:47.952.
Germany’s Andi Langenhan will head to the Olympics as the man to beat, winning the Sochi stop on the World Cup with a time of 1:47.335. Russia’s Albert Demchenko was second at 1:47.339, while Germany’s David Moller locked up the bronze with a time of 1:47.353.
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 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
Top-Five Team Relay Results: 1. Germany, 2:51.553; 2. Russia, 2:51.709; 3. Canada, 2:51.954; 4. Latvia, 2:52.536; 5. United States, 2:52.963
Men’s Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Andi Langenhan, GER, 1:47.335; 2. Albert Demchenko, RUS, 1:47.339; 3. David Moller, GER, 1:47.353; 4. Armin Zoggeler, ITA, 1:47.409; 5. Martins Ruebenis, LAT, 1:47.470
25. Sam Edney, Calgary, 1:47.952