Canada slides to gold in World Cup luge team relay
Canada's Arianne Jones, Mitchel Malyk, Tristan Walker, Justin Snith combined for team relay gold at the final luge World Cup event in Winterberg, Germany, on Sunday.
The team – all hailing from the Calgary area – captured top spot on the podium with a combined time of two minutes, 26.595 seconds.
Russia was 0.532 behind for silver while the Austrian team were 0.642 back for bronze.
"It was awesome to hear the Canadian anthem while standing on top of the podium," Malyk said in a release. "We all had clean runs and it is just a great way to end the season."
The team relay event is a combination of women's and men's singles events, along with the doubles. The first two sliders hit a target at the end of their run,which signals the next sled at the top of the hill.
The Canadians benefited from an earlier start time as heavy winds and rain slowed later-starting competitors as the track frosted up with the warm weather, causing it to slow down.
Canada took silver at last week's event in Altenberg, Germany, with Kim McRae sliding in the women's spot. Jones stepped in for her first-ever relay and second-ever World Cup medal.
"It was a great way to end the season for sure and very special to be a part of this team," said Jones, who earned a bronze medal in women's singles at a World Cup in Calgary in 2015. "We are a close group already, but to race together and then stand on the podium was fantastic.
"It was amazing for all of us to be on top of the podium and hear 'O Canada.' Words can't describe how good that feels. To end the season on a high point will give us more motivation to want more, and work harder through the summer which is really the most important part of our season."
Earlier, Malyk was 14th in the men's singles race, finishing in 1:48.023.
Russia's Stepan Fedorov captured the gold medal with a time of 1:47.210. American Chris Mazdzer was second in 1:47.245 while Italy's Dominik Fischnaller was third in 1:47.276.
Overall World Cup winner Felix Loch of Germany was sixth, 0.193 seconds behind Fedorov.
With files from the Canadian Luge Association, The Associated Press