The American pair culminated this pre-Olympic season at last weekend’s FIL Viessmann World Cup event that doubled as the Sochi 2014 Olympics test event. The Krasnaya Polyana, Russia track proved challenging, despite being less treacherous than the Vancouver Olympics run where Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died three years ago.
Former FIL 2009 World Champion Hamlin sledded to a seventh place finish on the track that will be used at next year’s Winter Olympics. The two-time Olympian raced against the world’s best to finish with a 1:42.66 two-run clocking. She and others grappled with rainy conditions that slowed the track’s speed.
“The start of both runs wasn’t so great. They were not ideal. But overall, I learned a lot and know where I have to improve to get faster,” said Hamlin in a USA Luge press release.
Teammate Clukey, who has just returned to competition this season, after rehabilitating from skull surgery, seized the tenth spot in 142.90. Coming off a silver medal performance in Lake Placid, NY two weeks ago, she powered through the course – complete with three uphill sections.
This duo trailed behind the strong podium-sweeping contingent from Germany led by Tatjana Hüfner (1:41.92), Natalie Geisenberger (1:41.960), and Anke Wischnewski (1:42.22).
For the overall world cup season, Clukey finished in in sixth, while Hamlin notched seventh among the world’s elite.
Both are strong candidates to punch tickets to Sochi, based on qualification events starting next fall.