Canadas Alex Gough Narrowly Misses Podium at Luge World Cup in Austria
The 22-year-old Calgarian, who has emerged as one of the top luge athletes in the world, put down the fourth fastest run in the first heat and held her position amongst the elite German sliders, clocking a combined time of one minute 19.533 seconds for the best World Cup result of her career.
I had the fastest time in A-seed training yesterday so I knew I had been sliding really well and had lots of confidence coming into the race today, said Gough, who made history last February when she finished fourth at the World Championships in Lake Placid, marking the best-ever finish by a Canadian woman at Worlds. I had a problem at the start in my first run and a couple of mistakes in the second run, but the speed was there and it is great to know that even after a couple of mistakes Im still where I want to be.
Struggling to crack the top-15 on the Luge World Cup during the first three years of her career, Gough blazed a trail to the top of the international standings last season with six top-10 finishes, including two seventh place results. After a strong season of summer training, the 2006 Olympian carried the momentum into this year matching the best-ever finish on her home track in Calgary last week with a sixth-place result.
I really believe in myself and know that I belong in that group with the top sliders, said Gough. If you want a chance in that top-five, then yes I think it is important to be posting strong results on a consistent basis and Im doing that. I need to continue to learn and I know anything can happen.
Germany swept the womens podium for the second straight week, giving the country its 92nd straight victory on the World Cup. Erin Hamlin knocked the Germans off the top of the podium at last years World Championships for the first time in 11 years.
Natalie Geisenberger finished on top with a time of 1:19.229, while last-weeks winner Tatjana Hüfner was second at 1:19.282, and Anke Wischnewski was third (1:19.289).
Two other Canadian women also suited up in Austria. Reginas Meaghan Simister finished in 14th spot with a time of 1:20.225, while Regan Lauscher, of Red Deer, Alta., was 15th (1:20.266).
Meanwhile, Chris and Mike Moffat finished as the top Canadians in the mens doubles race. The Calgary brothers finished in 11th spot with a two-run time of 1:19.438. Canadas other sled driven by teenagers, Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgarys Justin Snith, were 17th at 1:19.662.
Germanys Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch set a new track record in their first run at the Igls track at 39.278 en route to winning their second straight World Cup race. The Germans clocked a golden time of 1:18.631. Andre Florschutz and Torsten Wustlich, also of Germany, finished second in as many weeks with a time of 1:18.732. Andres and Wolfgang Linger, of Austria, rounded out the doubles podium in third sport with a time of 1:18.737.
The Austrian stop on the World Cup wraps up on Sunday with mens 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 nations 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
Womens Top-Five Results:
1.Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:19.229; 2. Tatjana Hüfner, GER, 1:19.282; 3. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:19.289; 4. Alex Gough, Calgary, CAN, 1:19.533; 5. Corinna Martini, GER, 1:19.702.
Other Canadian Results:
14. Meaghan Simister, Regina, 1:20.225; 15. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., 1:20.266
Mens Doubles Top-Five Results;
1. Leitner/Resch, GER, 1:18.631; 2. Florschütz/Wustlich, GER, 1:18.732; 3. Linger/Linger, AUT, 1:18.737; 4. Oberstolz/Gruber, ITA, 1:18.785; 5. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:18.995
11. Chris and Mike Moffat, Calgary, 1:19.438; 17. Tristan Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Justin Snith, Calgary, 1:19.662