Canadians Tristan Walker, Justin Snith finish fourth at World Cup luge event

Canada's Walker, Snith finish 4th at World Cup

OBERHOF, Germany — Canada’s Tristan Walker and Justin Snith came close to their first podium of the season, finishing fourth in doubles racing at a luge World Cup stop.

The Calgary-based sliders clocked a two-run time of one minute, 22.640 seconds on the 10-corner track to match their career-best finish in Oberhof. The duo was also fourth on the German track last year.

“Historically Oberhof has been tough for us, but the last couple of years it just finally started clicking for us here,” said Snith. “There have been some change to the ice and the profiles so it just seems to flow better for us here.

“The starts weren’t exactly where we want them today, but all-in-all, it was pretty decent. It is nice confirmation to know that we can be up there if we put two runs together, but I am surprised to finish fourth here two years in a row.”

Olympic champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt led a German sweep while Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken took another step toward overall victory.

Wendl and Arlt were fastest in both runs for a combined time of 1:21.909 seconds, beating Eggert and Benecken by 0.156 second, and Robin Johannes Geueke and David Gamm by 0.506.

Walker had been battling a twisted ankle and a cold all week.

“Part of sport is you get sick and have to push through it, but being sick might have helped to keep the expectations low today rather than go out there and try to take on the world,” said Walker. “This week was all about getting into the mindset to just enjoy sliding. I wanted to just enjoy having two runs rather than focus on the number at the end, and it worked out pretty well for us.”

Winner’s of two World Cup doubles medals and a bag full of fourth-place finishes throughout their eight-year career, Canada’s most successful doubles team of Walker and Snith have been hungry to climb back onto the podium this season. They carried two fifth-place finishes from the pre-Olympic year into Saturday’s race.

In the men’s singles race, Sam Edney was the top Canadian in 17th place. Making his return to the World Cup this year following a one-year absence, the three-time Olympian posted a time of 1:27.087.

Calgary’s Mitch Malyk was 28th (1:27.676), while rookie Nicky Klimchuk-Brown was 32nd (1:28.167).

Germany’s Felix Loch won the men’s race with a time of 1:26.130. Russia’s Roman Repilov slid onto the silver medal step of the podium after stopping the clock at 1:26.170, while Andi Langenhan, of Germany, finished third at 1:26.257.

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press