Lueders wins world title

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:12 PM ET

If Pierre Lueders truly is addicted to winning, he got a huge dose of his favourite drug last night. On a snowy night at his home track here in Calgary, Lueders had two smooth runs and won the two-man bobsled world championship in a four-run combined time of three minutes 39.38 seconds.

"Boy, that was fun," Lueders said after hoisting the Houben Trophy to the cheering crowd with brakeman Lascelles Brown by his side.

"This is for everyone who supported me here in Alberta in bobsleigh -- too many people to mention but they know who they are."

Canada's most decorated sliding athlete almost made the gruelling four-run race seem effortless at Canada Olympic Park.

He took a five one-hundredth's lead into last night and basically won the event in the opening third run, posting a time of 54.88 seconds.

"I knew if we put the pressure on in the third run, it was over," said Lueders, who had a run of 54.95 in the fourth. "It was my plan to attack on the third one and the last one wasn't the cleanest but it was good enough."

Andre Lange of Germany was second in 3:39.52, while Martin Annen of Switzerland won the bronze in 3:39.70.

Jayson Krause of Okotoks and Florian Linder of Morrin, Alta., improved on their placing to finish 11th in 3:41.12.

Heading into the fourth trip, all Lueders needed was a clean start, which brakeman Lascelles Brown provided. Canada 1 was the fastest at the start in the third run, coming off the top in 5.19 seconds, while nearly everyone else had trouble in the snow. Brown topped it with a 5.18 in the fourth.

"Lascelles, for the first year in our program, he's won everything now," Lueders said. "It bodes well for the future. He's a great athlete and he's only going to get better."

The win was Lueders' second two-man world title in a row but his first with Brown, a Jamaican who joined the Canadian team this season. He will try to get his citizenship in time for next year's Olympics.

When Lueders' regular brakeman Giulio Zardo returns next season, the team has two world-class pushers.

Lueders now turns his attention to the four-man title, as Morgan Alexander and Ken Kotyk jump into the sled for next weekend's races.

He can accomplish the rare feat of winning both two- and four-man events in the same world championships.


Videos

Photos