Junior World Luge Cup: sliding down the home track

On the second day of competition in the Junior Luge World Cup, the Canadian athletes were happy to slide on their home track, but couldn’t top the lists.

The Junior Luge World Cup was hosted at Canada Olympic Park in January.

From the two days of competition on Jan. 24 and 25, Canada achieved three gold medals, three silver medals, and one bronze.

“The Italians and the Germans are a strong force, so I’m happy I beat some of them,” said Mitchel Malyk, who was the first athlete on Jan. 25 to slide the 1,200-metre luge track in the junior men’s single luge.

Malyk, 17, is in his third year with the junior team and has been teammates for six years with John Fennell, 17.

Malyk finished in fifth place with a total time 0.246 seconds more than Italy’s Kevin Fischnaller who won the gold.

In second place was Germany’s Florian Berkes (+0.047), while Russia’s Maxim Aravin (+0.136) won the bronze.

“I’m happy about it, but I feel as though I could have done better,” said Malyk about his second run (0:45.451).

He was a lot faster in the beginning of the track compared to his first more solid run (0:45.244), but after going around the 360-degree corner (“Kriesle”) he made a few mistakes which cost him some time.

Of the 20 athletes competing Fennell ended in 11th place and was almost a second slower than Fischnaller.

“I’ve just had an incredibly rough week of training. It’s just been incredibly inconsistent,” said Fennell after his second run ended at a time of 0:45.705.

Despite being slower, he felt his second run was better than his first (0:45.667).

Jordyn Carss, 17, who has had seven years’ training, was the only woman representing Canada in the junior women’s singles category.

“It’s a good field. It’s really competitive because a lot of the kids here are actually trying out for 2014 [Sochi Winter Olympics], so it’s not just a walk in the park,” said Carss.

Carss placed 11th in the women’s category out of the 15 athletes competing. She ended her first run 0:45.124.

“Unfortunately it’s one of those tracks where the heavier people have the huge advantage.  I’m a lot on the lighter side so I have to work a lot harder on finding the extra time.”

“I just want to have clean runs and do the best I can,” said Carss.

The women’s track begins a couple of metres down from the men’s luge start at the Tower. The maximum force on athletes as they slide down the track is 4.5 g.

“This one is really nice because we have our home crowd here, and we’re so familiar with the track,” said Fennell.

He stated he tends to runs better on other tracks, despite the fact that he first started sliding on Calgary’s track seven seasons ago.

After the single runs were ended, Carss and Malyk teamed up with the junior doubles team for the team relay match. Canada was the last of eight teams to start, and finished in fifth place.

About Elin Jensdottir 6 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Elin Jensdottir worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.