Photo: Canadian Press

Spring pilots team to bronze

Calgary’s 28-year-old Chris Spring, and his newly-formed Bobsleigh crew of Tim Randall,  (Burlington, ON)., Ben Coakwell, of Saskatoon, and Edmonton’s Adam Rosenke slid into third place and their first podium finish of the 2012-13 World Cup season on Saturday.

The Canada 2 sled blasted down the 16-corner Olympic track in a two-run time of 1:43.83.

“I had the confidence in my crew and myself to know if we execute like we did today then we will come away with a good result. This field is so deep. I’m going to be smiling for a long time here – this bronze medal is huge for us,” said Spring, whose previous best finish was eighth last week in Park City, Utah.

Luge team strong in new Olympic event
After an impressive bronze-medal performance in the women’s race Friday, 25-year-old Alex Gough teamed with Sam Edney, 28, and a doubles tandem of Tristan Walker, 21, and Justin Snith, 20, to win a silver medal with a time of two minutes, 9.237 seconds in the team relay competition in Iglis, Austria on Sunday. The team relay competition will be making its Olympic Games debut at Sochi 2014.

“It is nice to show we still have it in the first race of the year, but there remains a gap between us and the Germans and we need to focus on closing that,” said Sam Edney, a 10-year veteran of the World Cup team. “When we broke into the medals a few years ago we were a young team with potential. We have all matured to the point where we know what we want to achieve, and can achieve. “

Belchos just misses podium
Jordan Belchos just missed out on a podium finish after finishing fourth in the men’s Speed Skating mass start at the Essent ISU World Cup in Kolomna, Russia.

Belchos, of Toronto, had seven points in the race, earning five points in the first sprint then two in the last three segments. The mass start, a 20-lap race, ranking is determined by the accumulated race points gained from intermediate sprints and the final sprint. Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands won gold (40 points) and French skaters Ewen Fernandez (22) and Alexis Contin (10) took silver and bronze, respectively.

Kucera makes courageous comeback
Almost three years to the day he fractured his left leg at Lake Louise, John Kucera made an impressive comeback from injury to finish in 14th place in the super G event at the same hill.

A 2009 world champion, the native of Calgary, Alberta has endured a long road back to get to this point.

“I’m a bit in shock,” said Kucera, who clocked a time of one minute, 36.36 seconds. “I mean that’s huge – just to be able to stack in there with those guys.

“The amount of miles that these guys have on me right now is huge and some of this confidence stuff that I have been struggling with in training, just due to lack of time and especially in super-G and then on the hill that – you know – took me out three years ago, it was cool that I could come out here. I had a plan – I just wanted to have a good, solid run, take some chances. I did and apparently it looks like it’s going the right way.”