McRae earns third at luge worlds 

Local youth represented at big race in Austria

click to enlarge PHOTO BY WOLFGANG HARDER - Pumped up Canadian Kim McRae (right) stood on the podium with American Erin Hamlin (left) and German Tatjana Huefner (centre) at the FIL World Championships.
  • Photo by Wolfgang Harder
  • Pumped up Canadian Kim McRae (right) stood on the podium with American Erin Hamlin (left) and German Tatjana Huefner (centre) at the FIL World Championships.

Canadian luger Kim McRae led the charge at the world championships in Igls, Austria.

McRae scored a third-place finish at the FIL World Championships on Jan. 28, becoming just the second Canadian to ever medal at the event.

The Calgarian sat in 10th place after her first run, turning early into the ninth corner, and figured her podium dreams were dashed. However, she posted the third-best time on her second run to claim some hardware. McRae ultimately finished 0.240 seconds back of winner Tatjana Huefner of Germany. American Erin Hamlin placed second.

"It is pretty incredible. After that first run I thought I had no chance," McRae explained in a release. "It honestly didn't cross my mind at all that I could be a medallist today heading into the last run. I was two-tenths behind and just thought I was out of it."

Fellow Canadian Alex Gough, meanwhile, placed fifth, and Whistler resident Veronica Ravenna, representing Argentina, was in the middle of the pack in 23rd.

On the men's side, Mitchel Malyk was the top Canadian, placing 25th overall after two runs. Meanwhile, Whistler's Reid Watts was a spot back of Malyk in 26th, but did not qualify for a second run. Canadian veteran Sam Edney ended up in 28th and Squamish's Nicholas Klimchuk-Brown took 33rd. Whistler's Lucas Gebauer-Barrett, who suits up for Great Britain, ended up in 47th.

Austria's Wolfgang Kindl scored the win, edging out Russia's Roman Repilov and Italy's Dominik Fischnaller.

In doubles, the lone Canadian sled of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith cracked the top 10, putting together a ninth-place finish. The Germans pulled off a full podium sweep with Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken earning the victory of the teams of Tobias Wendt and Tobias Arit, and Robin Geueke and David Gamm.

Canada also put up a strong showing in the team relay, with Gough, Edney and the Walker-Snith duo combining for a sixth-place finish. Germany once again ended up on top, sharing the podium with the second-place Americans and third-place Russians.

Walker was pleased with parts of the relay, but knows there are other areas the Canadians must improve to get on the podium more consistently.

"That isn't the result we wanted, but Justin and I had some positives today as well. We had the quickest reaction time out of the start which is something we've been working on all year," Walker explained in a release. "It's not over for us, that's for sure. The results show this is one of the tightest relays. It was so close out there. The rest of the world has caught up, but we know we are right in the mix too."

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