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Canada's Regan Lauscher falls just short of top-10 finish in World Cup luge action
-Teenaged duo of Alex Gough and

Media AdvisoryTwo days after claiming the bronze medal versus the world's elite female luge athletes in the Suzuki Challenge Cup, Canada's Regan Lauscher was admittedly disappointed the triumph didn't carry over into a top-10 finish in World Cup action on Sunday.

"I thought it was a no-brainer to be able to make the top-10 today," said Lauscher, 25, who last season won Canada's first ever World Cup silver medal in luge. "Obviously after winning that medal on Friday, and more importantly, putting down two solid runs, it was a little frustrating today."

The tight race gave competitors little breathing room, however, given that Lauscher's two-heat time of 1:21.088 was merely 0.057 seconds shy of the 10th-place mark posted by Latvia's Aiva Aparjode. Lauscher, a native of Red Deer, Alta., wound up in 13th-place when the dust settled on the two sliding heats.

Closely following Lauscher among the final finishers was a pair of teenaged teammates in Alex Gough and Meaghan Simister. Both turned in some of their finest performances of the season, with Gough taking 15th place after tallying a two-heat time of 1:21.130. Simister, a 19-year-old native of Regina, wasn't far behind after sledding to a time of 1:21.134 and 17th place.

For Gough, her first season on the international senior circuit has proven profitable, considering the 18-year-old Calgary native was one of 10 athletes named to Canada's Olympic Luge Team last month. Along with Sunday's strong result, the youngster posted an impressive 11th-place finish during World Cup action last month on her home track at Canada Olympic Park, bettering the previous Canadian track record in the process.

"It's getting used to the World Cup experience," said Gough. "Things went pretty well today. I made a couple mistakes on my second run that cost me a bit, but overall I was pretty happy with the result."

The women's podium was again dominated by Germany's fabulous frauleins. Silke Kraushaar, the 2002 Olympic silver medallist, took the top honour with a time 1:20.395, while reigning Olympic champion Sykle Otto captured the bronze medal with 1:20.658. The Ukraine's Natalia Yakushenko, who won the silver in a time of 1:20.583, assumed the role of party crasher by spoiling a complete German monopoly on the podium.

Canada's doubles teams also fell short of cracking the top-10 during Sunday's races, with the Calgary brotherly tandem of Chris and Mike Moffat sledding into 14th spot after posting a two-run time of 1:20.698. Grant Albrecht, of Red Deer, and Eric Pothier, of Airdrie, Alta., finished two spots back of their comrades at 16th place with 1:21.550.

Germany's Andre Florschutz and Torsten Wustlich posted the top time of the day, clocking in at 1:19.704. Rounding out the doubles podium was a pair of Italian duos, with Christian Obertstolz and Patrick Gruber snagging the silver medal after posting a two-run time of 1:19.727. Gerhard Frankensteiner and Oswald Haselrieder slid to the bronze after clocking in at 1:19.735.

The Canadian Luge Team returns to action on January 28 and 29 for the eighth and final stop of the Viessmann World Cup tour in Oberhof, Germany.

The Canadian Luge Associaton is the governing body for luge racing in Canada. In partnership with CODA, the Canadian Luge Association operates the Olympic Luge Training Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, which develops our nation's high-performance luge athletes and promotes the sport across the country. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.

For complete results, see www.fil-luge.org

Women's Top-Five Results (23 sleds):
1.Silke Kraushaar, GER, 1:20.395; 2. Natalia Yakushenko, UKR, 1:20.583; 3. Sylke Otto, GER, 1:20.658; 4.Tatjana Hufner, GER, 1:20.679; 5. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:20.708.

Canadian Women's Results:
13. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., 1:21.088; 15. Alex Gough, Calgary, 1:21.130; 17. Meaghan Simister, Regina, 1:21.143.

Doubles Top-Five Results (16 sleds):
1. Andre Florschutz and Torsten Wustlich, GER, 1:19.704; 2. Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber, ITA, 1:19.727; 3. Gerhard Frankensteiner and Oswald Haselrieder, ITA, 1:19.735; 4. Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch, GER, 1:19.743; 5. Tobias and Markus Schiegl, AUT, 1:19.763.

Canadian Doubles Results:
14. Chris and Mike Moffat, Calgary, 1:20.698; 16. Grant Albrecht, Red Deer, Alta., and Eric Pothier, Airdrie, Alta., 1:21.550.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Chris Dornan
CODA, Communications Specialist
C: 403-585-0254