OBERHOF, Ger.—Canada’s Tristan Walker and Justin Snith came agonizingly close to their first podium of the season where they finished fourth in doubles racing at a Luge World Cup stop in Oberhof, Germany.
The Calgary-based sliders clocked a two-run time of 1:22.640 on the 10-corner track to match their career-best finish in Oberhof.
“Historically Oberhof has been tough for us, but the last couple of years it just finally started clicking for us here,” said Snith, who added they were fourth on the German track last year as well. “There have been some change to the ice and the profiles so it just seems to flow better for us here.
“The starts weren’t exactly where we want them today, but all-in-all, it was pretty decent. It is nice confirmation to know that we can be up there if we put two runs together, but I am surprised to finish fourth here two years in a row.”
Battling a twisted ankle and a cold all week, Tristan Walker, put it all behind him and tried to go back to the roots of his entry into the sport and have fun.
“Part of sport is you get sick and have to push through it, but being sick might have helped to keep the expectations low today rather than go out there and try to take on the world,” said Walker. “This week was all about getting into the mindset to just enjoy sliding. I wanted to just enjoy having two runs rather than focus on the number at the end, and it worked out pretty well for us.”
Winner’s of two World Cup doubles medals and a bag full of fourth-place finishes throughout their eight-year career, Canada’s most successful doubles team of Walker and Snith have been hungry to climb back onto the podium this season. They carried two fifth-place finishes from the pre-Olympic year into Saturday’s race.
Searching for strong starts and consistency all season long, the 25-year-old two-time Olympians chalked up the fourth fastest start times in both heats, along with the sixth and fifth-fastest run times.
“As for the secret as to why that happens that is the hard part. I wish there was something I could put my finger on that we did different, but we really didn’t change anything,” added Snith. “Sometimes things just come together and it works out.”
The Germans swept the doubles podium. Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt were first with a time of 1:21.909. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken slid to the silver medal at 1:22.065, while Robin Johannes Geueke and David Gamm climbed two spots in their final run to lock up the bronze medal with a time of 1:22.415.
In the men’s singles race, Sam Edney was the top Canadian in 17th place. Making his return to the World Cup this year following a one-year absence, the three-time Olympian posted a time of 1:27.087.
Calgary’s Mitch Malyk was 28th (1:27.676), while rookie, Nicky Klimchuk-Brown, was 32nd (1:28.167).
Germany’s Felix Loch won the men’s race with a time of 1:26.130. Russia’s Roman Repilov slid onto the silver medal step of the podium after stopping the clock at 1:26.170, while Andi Langenhan, of Germany, finished third at 1:26.257.
The World Cup wraps up on Sunday in Oberhof with the women’s singles and team relay races.