Canada’s Tristan Walker and Justin Snith Post Top Result of Season in Eighth at Luge World Cup
ST. MORITZ, Sui.— Canada’s Tristan Walker and Justin Snith put down a season-best eighth-place finish in the final World Cup doubles luge race in their final event before the start of the Olympic Winter Games.
Competing for the first time of their career on the historic non-refrigerated track in St. Moritz, Switzerland, it was a great week for the Calgary-based duo who won the Nations Cup qualifying race before paddling to the fastest start-times in both heats of an eighth-place finish on Saturday, stopping the clock at 1:47.621.
“The starts were very good. We feel like we’ve been short-changed by the timing eyes over the past while and not getting a true indication of how much speed we are actually bringing into the run so we are happy to know that piece of the puzzle is there,” said Snith. “This is our first time here. I definitely enjoyed it. There are a few differences here and there with the natural ice, but I had a lot of fun.”
Struggling to find their top form all season, the 30-year-old Canucks – who were recently named to their fourth Canadian Olympic Team – were in third place after their first blast down the stunning ice chute that winds its way through the forest to the town of Celerina. A small hiccup in the final heat dropped them five spots down the standings.
“We just went into Nash (corner) at a poor angle compared to the first run and had a very small brush on the inside short wall and that’s all it took,” added Snith. “The second run was smoother overall, but that mistake cost us.”
The Canadians finished less than half-a-second off the podium. The Germans slid to the gold and silver medal. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken were first at 1:47.209. Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt clocked-in at 1:47.322 for the silver. Latvia’s Martins Bots and Roberts Plume finished at 1:47.458 for the bronze.
“When you look at how close that group of sleds were today, I think we easily could’ve been up there,” said Snith. “That being said, it’s good to know we have finally found some speed in the sled. We’ve been looking for that as well as comfort all year.”
The Germans grabbed the top-two steps on the doubles podium. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken were tops in both heats to win with a time of 1:22.651. Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished behind their teammates in second at 1:22.967.
Reid Watts, of Whistler, B.C., was the lone Canadian in the men’s singles race and finished 23rd at 2:11.951.
Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl won the final World Cup race of the season with a time of 2:10.246.
The World Cup continues on Sunday in St. Moritz with the women’s singles race.
Complete Results in St. Moritz: https://www.fil-luge.org/en/multimedia/eberspaecher-world-cup-15
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