Malyk narrowly misses podium in fourth place at BMW World Cup sprint race
CALGARY–Canada’s Mitch Malyk turned in his best performance of the season, and second best of his career, when he was 10th in the men’s singles race. The young Canuck wasn’t finished there on a sunny afternoon at the Viessmann Luge World in Calgary on Saturday. Malyk then headed back to the top of the track where he narrowly missed his first career podium, placing fourth in the BMW Sprint Competition.
With three-time Olympic veteran Sam Edney taking the year off to nurse an injury and attend school, the 20-year-old Malyk is being counted on to step up and be a contender with the world’s elite. The 2014 Olympian was poised for a career best finish on Saturday while sitting in eighth spot after the opening run, but despite losing time after a couple of mistakes at the top of the track, Malyk still managed to hold on for the final spot in the top-10 with a time of 1:30.968.
“I made a mistake at the start on the first run, but was happy otherwise. The second run was a little rough on the top, but had a good bottom. I’m really just trying to be consistent,” said Malyk, whose best finish ever came one year ago when he was ninth – a result that was overshadowed by Edney becoming the first Canadian male ever to win a World Cup race.
“Sam was a huge mentor for (John Fennell) and I. He helps us with whatever we need both in life and sport, so we definitely miss him out here and hope he is coming back (next year).”
Germany’s Felix Loch finished second to Edney last year. On Saturday he was back on top of the World Cup podium in Calgary, clocking a winning time of 1:30.304. American, Chris Madzer, slid to the silver medal at 1:30.628, while Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl posted a bronze-medal time of 1:30.673.
Calgary’s John Fennell was the only other Canadian in the men’s singles race. Pulling the fastest start in the first heat with a time of 4.797, inconsistency down the track cost the young slider, dropping him into 24th at 1:31.622.
Following the men’s race, Malyk was one of five Canadian sleds that headed back to the start line for the BMW World Cup sprint race which features the top-15 athletes in each discipline taking a one run bomb down the track.
A newly-created format with the goal of providing more opportunities for medals and World Cup points, timing of the sprint race begins up to five corners down the track with the goal of reducing the importance of the start. When athletes hit the start eye, velocities are similar across the field of play, putting the focus on driving.
Malik was rock solid, putting down one of the strongest runs of the day, finishing fourth with a time of 30.427, missing the podium by .002.
Felix Loch won the men’s sprint as well with a time of 30.091. Russia’s Roman Repilov was second with a time of 30.279, while Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl edged out Malyk for the bronze with a time of 30.329.
Calgary’s Kim McRae finished ninth in the women’s sprint with a time of 31.438. Calgary’s Arianne Jones finished just outside the top-10 in 11th with a time of 131.612. Alex Gough posted the eighth fastest time, but was later disqualified when her sled setup did not confirm to FIL standards.
American Summer Britcher won the women’s event with a time of 31.129.
Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and doubles partner Justin Snith, of Calgary, posted an eighth-place result of their own in the doubles sprint race. The Canadian duo punched the clock at 36.726.
Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won the doubles sprint event with a time of 36.310.
Men’s Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Felix Loch, GER, 1:30.304; 2. Chris Madzer, USA, 1:30.628; 3. Wolfgang Kindl, AUT, 1:30.673; 4. Julian von Schleinitz, GER, 1:30.676; 5. David Gierscher, AUT, 1:30.694.
10. Mitch Malyk, Calgary, 1:30.968; 24. John Fennell, Calgary, 1:31.622