March 11, 2014, SOCHI, RUS (ISN) -Braydon Luscombe and Josh Dueck were the fastest Canadians down the hill on Tuesday in the slalom portion of men’s super combined, placing second and fifth, respectively, on a challenging course plagued by thick fog and rain that forced organizers to postpone the men’s and women’s super combined super-G until Thursday.
Luscombe, from Duncan, B.C., laid down the second-fastest slalom run in the men’s standing category with a time of 52.17 seconds on a course that racers described as “rutty, grippy, and gnarly.” Luscombe did not finish his runs in downhill and super-G earlier in the week, so he was pleased with his performance in slalom.
“It feels good to have a strong run,” said Luscombe, 21, who foreran at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics. “I was happy to do what we know as a team we can do and what we’ve done through the whole season. It was a really tough course, but you just had to fight through to the very end. It was rough, but it’s rough for everyone else as well.
“We were prepared for it and have skied here in very similar conditions last year. I knew what to expect and just went for it.”
Dueck, a sit-skier from Kimberley, B.C., is well-positioned moving into the super-G portion of the super combined after finishing fifth in 59.93 seconds – only a little more than one second off of the leader, Roman Rabl of Austria. With a penchant for speed, Dueck is still within striking distance of the podium.
“The track is better than I expected it to be, given it’s been so sunny for the past couple of weeks, but it’s not slalom like we’re used to. It’s not feel-good; it’s really about survival.” said Dueck, who won silver in downhill on Saturday.
“I pretty much gave up everything I knew about ski racing and went back to my roots in freestyle and just tried to find the best way to ski the snow and feel the terrain. It felt terrible coming down, but my time’s in the hunt and I feel like I can make up time in super-G, so I’m actually really happy with how today turned out.”
Mac Marcoux, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Robin Fémy, from Mont-Tremblant, Que. – who have already racked up two bronze medals so far in Sochi – did not finish their run in the men’s visually impaired category. Sit-skiers Caleb Brousseau, of Terrace, B.C., Calgary, Alta.’s Kurt Oatway, and standing athlete Matt Hallat, of Coquitlam, B.C, also did not finish.
In the women’s slalom, Calgary, Alta.’s Alexandra Starker, who competes in the standing division, was the top-placing Canadian. She finished seventh in 1:06.59. Erin Latimer, of Etobicoke, Ont. placed eighth in 1:01.18. Only athletes who finished their slalom runs advance to Thursday’s super-G.
Following schedule changes, women’s slalom is set for Wednesday, and men’s slalom on Thursday. The women’s super-G from the super combined is scheduled for Friday, followed by men’s and women’s giant slalom on Saturday and Sunday.