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Canada’s Kim McRae Roughed up in Seventh at Luge World Cup in Winterberg

Alex Gough struggles to 10th-place finish on tricky German track

WINTERBERG, Ger.—Canada’s Kim McRae came up just short in matching her career-best performance on a tricky track in Winterberg, Germany where she slid to seventh spot on Sunday.

The Calgary-based Olympian battled the world’s best on the challenging 1,293 metre decent, not to mention the conditions Mother Nature threw at them, to post a seventh-place time of 1:43.120. The result was one spot below her previous best she chalked up last year.

“Overall today was a bit rough. We had some crazy weather to contend with, but that is Winterberg,” said the 25-year-old McRae. “I am very happy with a seventh place finish, but it could have been even better.”

Struggling to find the consistency and deliver all of the ingredients required for a perfect run, nothing seemed to click for the soft-spoken Canuck.

 “The first run I had a rough start and nothing worked together. The second run, I was able to lay down a nice start, but the run itself was rough,” said McRae, who now has top-eight finishes in each of her first two starts this season.

“I never used to like Winterberg, but I do enjoy the track itself and I’m learning to have fun here. I am happy to have two top-8s, but I have lot of work to do yet to get back to my personal best.”

McRae will be looking for precious seconds to close the gap created by the two German stars of the World Cup circuit. Natalie Geisenberger was the fastest athlete in both runs, winning with a time of 1:53.484. Fellow German, Tatjana Huefner, slid to the silver medal at 1:53.832.

The American women had a strong day. Summer Britcher rounded out the women’s podium in third at 1:53.893, while her teammate and Olympic medallist, Erin Hamlin, placed fourth at 1:54.042.

It was a difficult day for the leader of the Canadian women’s program, Alex Gough, on a track she has twice reached the podium on throughout her career. The 30-year-old Gough clocked in at 1:54.405 to secure the final spot in the top-10.

The Viessmann Luge World Cup now travels down the road to Altenberg next week before returning to Calgary for a series of races at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park, December 8-9.

The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.

Women’s Singles Results:

1. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:53.484; 2. Tatjana Huefner, GER, 1:53.832; 3. Summer Britcher, USA, 1:53.893; 4. Erin Hamlin, USA, 1:54.042; 5. Julia Taubitz, GER, 1:54.059.

Other Canadian Results:

7. Kim McRae, Calgary, 1:54.120; 10. Alex Gough, Calgary, 1:54.405.