ALEX GOUGH LEADS CANADIAN LUGE ATHLETES WITH NINTH-PLACE SHOWING AT WORLD CUP IN GERMANY
The 21-year-old Calgarian, who is one of the youngest athletes on the World Cup circuit, posted the second top-10 finish of her career when she slid to ninth spot on Saturday in Königssee, Germany. Gough, who drove to her best-ever result during the final race before the holidays where she was seventh in Winterberg, Germany, clocked a two-run time of one minute 36.585 seconds.
It was another good one for me and I'm pretty happy, said the 2006 Olympian who is competing in her fourth season on the World Cup. I have built a lot of confidence from my (seventh-place) result before Christmas knowing that I can be right up there with the top-eight.
Gough, who is slowly establishing herself as a regular in the top-10, was poised to slide her way further up the standings, but made a costly error in one of the most difficult corners midway down the 11-corner track on her second run.
While I am happy with my result I did make errors on both runs and know there is room for improvement, said Gough. The positive is that this shows me if I do have two consistent runs that my times will be right up there.
The Canadian Women's Luge Team also welcomed the return of their leader, Regan Lauscher, back to the World Cup after staying at home for the first half of the schedule to recover from off-season surgery where she had both shoulders repaired.
The two-time Olympian, of Red Deer, Alta., shook off the competitive dust having not competed in a World Cup race in nearly a year, to finish 12th. While the 28-year-old veteran continues to build strength on her starts, Lauscher displayed her sliding strengths in her first race back clocking-in at 1:36.884.
For sure it was a good start for me, but I have to keep things realistic and continue to work on getting my start back, said Lauscher. My focus right now has to be on getting my strength back and be consistent with my sliding. The clock is secondary for me right now.
The Germans swept the podium in the women's race. Tatjan Hüfner slid into the winner's circle with a two-run time of 1:34.948, while Natalie Geisenberger was second (1:35.477), and Anke Wischnewski was third (1:35.712).
Meanwhile, two other Canadians also made their World Cup season debut in Königssee on Saturday. Chris and Mike Moffat suited up for the lone men's doubles sled, and finished a solid 10th. Training at home in Canada with Lauscher prior to the holidays to allow Chris, the older of the two siblings, to recover from a wrist injury, the brother tandem clocked a combined time of 1:36.055.
This was a really good start for us and gave us the chance to test my wrist and see how we would come out, said Chris Moffat, who added the duo's goal was a top-10 finish. We pulled the fourth and fifth fastest starts today so it shows everything is okay. I need to keep working on my strength and I still have lots of room to go before getting to the top level.
The Moffat brothers will be focused on trying to make up nearly half a second on the Germans in order to find their way onto the World Cup podium for the first time of their career. Two German sleds also grabbed the top-two spots on the doubles podium.Germany's Patrick Leitner and Alexander Resch captured the gold on Saturday with a winning time of 1:34.616, while Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt were second (1:34.686). Austria's Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger were third at 1:34.782.
The Luge World Cup continues on Sunday in Königssee, Germany with men's singles racing.
The Canadian Luge Association is the governing body for luge racing in Canada. 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.
COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Women's Top-Five Results:
1. Tatjana Hüfner, GER, 1:34.948; 2. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:35.477; 3. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:35.712; 4. Nina Reithmayer, AUT, 1:35.758; 5. Steffi Sieger, GER, 1:35.838.
9. Alex Gough, Calgary, 1:36.585; 12. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., 1:36.884
Men's Doubles Top-Five Results:
1.Leitner/Resch, GER, 1:34.616; 2. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:34.686; 3. Linger/Linger, AUT, 1:34.782; 4. Oberstolz/Gruber, 1:34.817; 5. Penz/Fischler, AUT, 1:35.146.
10. Chris Moffat and Mike Moffat, Calgary, 1:36.055