KONIGSSEE, Ger.—Canada’s luge athletes slid shy of the podium in fourth place at a World Cup Team Relay in Konigssee, Germany on Friday.
Winners of the season-opening relay in Lake Placid prior to the holiday break, the Calgary-based Canadian squad of Alex Gough, Mitch Malyk along with doubles tandem Tristan Walker and Justin Snith combined for a fourth-place finish with a time of 2:43.678 in cold conditions with snow dusting the track.
“We were last off today, and that may have played into us being a bit slower,” said Alex Gough. “Overall our performance was not too bad, but we have some work to do to get back to consistently being on the podium.”
Gough set the tone for the Canadian team, clocking the third fastest down time on the 12-corner track.
“I felt like I had a good run, but not necessarily as good as I would have liked,” added Gough. “My start was strong, but I lost some time in the bottom.”
Gough opened the start gates for Mitch Malyk who was getting his first relay start since being a part of Canada’s bronze-medal winning team at the World Championships last winter.
The Canadians dropped to fifth when Malyk hit the finishing pad. Coming off their best result of the season with a fifth place finish on Thursday, the doubles sled of Walker and Snith fought for one more spot up the standings but it wasn’t enough for a podium result leaving the Canadians in fourth.
The relay is a one-run race consisting of one women’s, one men’s and one doubles sled. Athletes hit a pad hanging over the track after crossing the finish line, which gives the next team member the start the green light to go. The Canadians were also fourth when the race discipline made its debut at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The Germans successfully defended their home track, winning with a time of 2:42.348. The American team slid to the silver medal at 2:43.229, while the Austrians celebrated the bronze medal after clocking in at 2:43.617.
Earlier in the day Mitch Malyk and Sam Edney both cracked the top-15 in men’s singles racing.
Training fast all week, the 21-year-old Malyk cruised to his best result of the young season where he finished 13th. The 2014 Olympian made up considerable time in the lower portion of the track to post a combined time of 1:39.534.
Three-time Olympian and veteran of the Canadian squad, Sam Edney, also had a solid outing in 14th place with a time of 1:39.715.
Russia’s Semen Pavlichenko won the men’s race with a time of 1:38.363. Germany’s Ralf Palik claimed silver medal at 1:38.611, while Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl rounded out the podium in third with a time of 1:38.823.
The Viessmann Luge World Cup now travels to Sigulda, Latvia.