Canada’s Jeff Pain Back on Track Towards Podium at World Cup in Austria
December 13, 2008
IGLS, Aut.—Olympic silver medallist, Jeff Pain, narrowly missed the podium after finishing fourth at a World Cup skeleton event in Igls, Austria on Saturday.
The Calgary native, who will turn 38 on Sunday, clocked a two-run time of one minute 46.55 seconds for his best finish of the young season.
“This is Igls and I traditionally don’t do well here so I’m quite happy with today,” said Pain, who is known for his driving ability on longer, more technical tracks than the short Austrian venue which puts a demand on the start. “I feel like it was just survival the last couple of weeks, but now we start to move to tracks better designed for me so I’m looking forward to it.”
Pain has come a long way since winning a silver medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Cesana, Italy. Last year, he came up short of making Canada’s World Cup squad, and is now edging his way back to the top of the international standings. Pain will get another crack at the podium next week when the World Cup circuit returns to Cesana.
“I can’t complain at the start of the season because I did get the three Olympic qualifiers I needed for this year out of the way <top-10 finishes>,” said Pain. “Would I like to have had some better results? Of course, but I’m making progress.”
Germany’s Frank Rommel won his second World Cup in as many weeks. Rommel posted the time to beat at 1:46.01. Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov, who set a new track record in the first heat at 52.93, settled for the silver-medal position on the podium at 1:46.26, while Latvia’s Martins Dukurs was third (1:46.38).
Two other Canadian men also suited up in Igls. Jon Montgomery, of Russel, Man., finished in 10th spot after clocking-in at 1:47.06, while Calgary’s Paul Boehm was 18th (1:48.23)
Meanwhile, Canada’s men’s bobsleigh athletes also continue to find the winning line to the podium during the early-season swing through Europe.
Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., teamed up with Calgary’s Lascelles Brown to finish as the top Canadian sled in 12th spot after clocking a two-run time of 1:45.41.
“We had two pretty good runs today, and we pushed really well,” said the 28-year-old Rush. “I want to do my very best every race, but my goal is really to get into the top-10. I am very optimistic about the four-man tomorrow.”
Edmonton’s Pierre Lueders had some tough luck during both of his heats on Saturday in Igls. After pushing some of the fastest starts with brakeman, Justin Kripps of Summerland, B.C., Lueders’ sled skid into the wall before turn one on both runs. The unfortunate and freak incident cost the legendary Canadian pilot loads of time and pushed him into 18th spot (1:45.83).
Thomas Florschütz and Marc Kuehne drove the Germany 3 sled to the top of the podium with a winning time of 1:44.62. Switzerland’s Beat Hefti teamed up with Thomas Laparter to finish second at 1:44.70, while Steven Holcomb, of the United States posted a bronze-medal winning time of 1:44.75 with brakeman Justin Olsen.
The Canadian men’s bobsleigh athletes will hit the start line on Saturday for the two-man event in Igls, Austria.
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Complete Results www.fibt.com
Top-Five Men’s Skeleton Results:
1.Frank Rommel, GER, 1;46.01; 2. Alexander Tretiakov, RUS, 1;46.26; 3. Martins Dukurs, LAT, 1:46.38; 4. Jeff Pain, Calgary, CAN, 1:46.55; 5. Gregor Staehli, SUI, 1:46.61
Other Canadian Men’s Results:
10. Jon Montgomery, Russell, Man., 1:47.06; 18. Paul Boehm, Calgary, 1:48.23
Top-Five Men’s Bobsleigh Results:
1.Thomas Florschütz/Marc Kuehn, GER 3, 1:44.62; 2. Beat Hefti/Thomas Lamparter, SUI 1, 1:44.70; 3. Steven Holcomb/Justin Olsen, USA 1, 1:44.75; 4. Andre Lange/Martin Putze, GER 1, 1:44.79; 5. Matthias Hoepfner/Alex Mann, GER 2, 1:44.87.
Canadian Men’s Results:
12. Lyndon Rush, Humboldt, Sask., and Lascelles Brown, Calgary, 1:45.41; 18. Pierre Lueders, Edmonton, Justin Kripps, Summerland, B.C., 1:45.83
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