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Teenagers Josh Fogo, of Naseby, and Jack Leslie, of Christchurch, both aged 15, were the first New Zealanders to compete in the world championship event, held in Italy over the weekend. They were among the youngest competitors and achieved ''great results'', New Zealand Olympic Luge Association president Geoff Balme said.
''It bodes well for the future and shows that we can develop athletes on the Naseby Luge Track and prepare them for international competition.''
Fogo finished 35th of 50 racers and Leslie finished 36th. Racers from 20 countries took part, Balme said. The boys had been training and competing in Italy for a month and would race in a World Cup event in Austria later this week before returning to school.
Patrick Pigneter (25), of Italy, who coached and trained at the Naseby track in July last year, won the world championship race - only 0.07sec ahead after three runs, Balme said. Pigneter also won gold medals in the team and doubles competitions which meant he has been single and doubles world champion twice and team world champion three times.