Canadian sliders open 2014 with four World Cup medals
Updated: January 5 15:06 ET
Canada followed up a historic Saturday in Konigssee with a team relay silver in luge on Sunday. A day earlier Tristan Walker and Justin Snith won the country’s first-ever World Cup doubles medal, a bronze, Alex Gough was also third.
Calgary’s Sarah Reid started the new year off right by grabbing a bronze medal at the Winterberg track in Germany.
The Canadian luge relay team of Alex Gough, Samuel Edney, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith took their third World Cup silver in Germany on Sunday with a time of two minutes and 44.499 seconds.
Germany took gold with a time of 2:42.781. Italy won bronze with 2:44.681.
“It was another great day and we are happy with how things are going,” Canada head coach Wolfgang Staudinger said. The silver follows two bronze medals a day earlier for Alex Gough in the women’s individual event. Walker and Snith followed up with the first doubles World Cup luge medal in Canadian history.
Edney finished fifth in the men’s individual race.
Walker and Snith have been knocking on the door for some time and finally broke through, finishing behind two German tandems.
“I just can’t believe it,” Snith said, “I’m at a loss for words. It is so nice to see the hard work that we have put in pay off. It’s just huge for us to get a podium before Sochi. We knew we could be there, but to actually do it is nice confirmation.”
Alex Gough’s earlier bronze medal ensured another piece of Canadian luge history was written. It’s the first time the nation has won two individual medals on the same day at a World Cup competition.
Gough’s time of one-minute 40.922 was also behind two German competitors. Unbeaten Natalie Geisenberger was first in one-minute 40.591.
On the skeleton track Reid put together two very consistent runs, a 59.27 then 59.22 for a total time of one-minute 58.49. Great Britain’s Elizabeth Yarnold won with a time of one-minute 57.53 in front of the United State’s Noelle Pikus-Pace, one-minute 58.10.
Canadian Mellisa Hollingsworth was 6th.
Watch Heat 2 from Germany
Reid had one of the fastest first splits out of anyone in the top-10. At 5.34 seconds, only Yarnold was as quick off the start in either heat.
It is the seventh World Cup medal for Reid, who was named to her first Canadian Olympic Team along with veteran Hollingsworth on December 18th.
Reid also sits fourth in the World Cup standings.
The men’s skeleton was Friday at Winterberg. Calgary’s John Fairbairn was 9th, Eric Neilson was 16th.