Canadian Natural Luge Team – 2011 World Cup 4 -Kindberg, AUT
With a shortened season facing our athletes, they had only 2 days training in Olang, Italy prior to their first stop on the 2010/2011 FIL Würz Energy World Cup Natural Track Luge at Kindberg, Austria.
The challenges of being thrust into competition with minimal training and equipment setup time push our athletes to the limit. Wanting to be competitive from the very first run, while self-coaching completely on their own, left little room for error.
The first training run found some different results for the team. Kaj Johnson posted the 19th fastest training run. John Gibson (24th) and Greg Jones (27th) both struggled in the mid section of the track and their times reflected this.
After a night of sled tuning and preparation, the second training run again had mixed results. Kaj (tied for 22nd) had some difficulty in the top chicane section of the track while John (24th) and Greg (25th) both improved their times.
In the first competition run each of the athletes posted what would turn out to be their best run times of the weekend, with Kaj in 13th place, John 19th, and Greg 22nd.
The final run for the men had our athletes all posting slower times. In Kaj's case his time was less than .5 seconds slower which kept him in 13th place. Both of the other athletes struggled in the chicane section and John slipped a couple of spots to 21st while Greg managed to retain his 22nd ranking.
Following the race, Kaj was pleased with his result and said "I am happy with my performance this weekend. With not being on a sled until just a few days ago it is nice to see that the only athletes to finish ahead of me were from either the Italian or Austrian powerhouse teams."
John explained that "The lack of pre-race training is something we all struggle with, but hopefully the training days I have prior to the 2011 World Championships in Umhausen will improve my consistency for next weekend".
With a disappointing final competition run Greg said "Not having any time on a sled last season has left me rusty. This means extra work over the training days that I have left in trying to get the sled setup correct".
All three are looking forward to next weekend in Umhausen, Austria at the 2011 FIL Natural Track World Championships.