From Whistler, CAN
Men’s luge finished off a long day of training and racing for the FIL World Cup. After heavy snowfall delayed arrival of the tour’s sleds until late Friday, the entire Whistler stop was condensed into a single day of action. The final event of the day, men’s luge, was worth the wait.
Like the other races held on Saturday, the men’s race was a one-heat race. The single run format, if anything, kept the field close with the top ten being separated by less than a quarter of a second.
Tucker West set a blistering pace as the 22nd man down, and spent the rest of his evening in the leader’s box, watching some of the best in the world try to unseat him. In the end, the American held off Austrian Wolfgang Kindl by .044 to win his second gold medal in as many races.
Had it not been for a disqualification for being a hair over the weight limit in Winterberg, the medal would have made him at least three for four on the season scoring medals. Alas, West will have to “settle” for back to back golds.
Kindl had a nearly flawless run, but his start time was .036 off West’s pace, and the Austrian couldn’t find that time down the Whistler Sliding Center track.
German Andi Langenhan finished with a bronze medal, just .02 ahead of Russian Semen Pavlichenko. Dominik Fischnaller finished fifth and Felix Loch sixth after an uncharacteristically sloppy run.
Much like in the other two races held Saturuday, the track record was in danger early and often. Australian Alex Ferlazzo came into the race as the record holder with a 50.580 downtime, but crashed in his run in defense of that record. Canadian Samuel Edney eventually broke that with a 50.405, and by the end of the 32 man race, 17 athletes had broken the old record.
Samuel Edney was the top-finishing Canadian in 12th place, while teammates Mitchel Malyk and Reid Watts finished 23rd and 26th.
Taylor Morris and Jonathan Gustafson finished 17th and 19th respectively for the United States. Teammate Chris Mazdzer had major trouble at the start, which cost him any speed on the track. He finished 31st.
|16||Julian von Schleinitz||GER||20||7.042||50.500|
|26||Reid Gordon Thomas Watts||CAN||3||7.160||50.785|