Alex Gough Narrowly Misses Podium with Fourth-Place Finish at Luge World Cup in Germany
ALTENBERG, Ger.—Canada’s Alex Gough narrowly missed the fourth podium finish of her season after finishing in fourth spot at the Luge World Cup in Altenberg, Germany on Saturday.
Calgary’s Gough had two nearly flawless runs on one of the world’s most difficult and intimidating tracks in Altenberg, to post a fourth-place combined time of one minute, 46.667 seconds (1:46.667).
“It was good. I had two strong runs today so I’m happy,” said Gough. “I was a long way back of the Germans, but they are so good here, and fast at the start so are tough to beat. This is a fun track to slide on but it is tricky at the bottom.”
Gough was the top athlete in the world outside the dominant Germans who defended their home track with a podium sweep. Tatjana Hüfner clocked the top-time at 1:45.626, while Natalie Geisenberg was second at 1:45.648. Anke Wischnewski completed the medal sweep after winning the bronze with a time of 1:46.270.
The 23-year-old two-time Olympian, Gough, has had a historic season which has seen her win the bronze in Winterberg, Germany, Park City, Utah, and Königssee, Germany. Gough had two fourth-place finishes on the World Cup last year, and also had the best ever Canadian finish at a luge World Championship when she was fourth in 2009.
“It’s where I’ve been trying to get with all the work I’ve been doing so it is nice to see it pay off,” said Gough about having strong results at all tracks around the world. “I have to keep working hard this summer to get better. This season has been a big step ahead for me, but the goal is to get better in the season and contend for something more.”
Canadian rookie, Arianne Jones of Calgary, had a solid outing in Altenberg with strong starts and clean runs to place 12th with a time of 1:48.096.
The men’s doubles race also hit the track in Altenberg. Austria’s Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger teamed up to win the gold with a time of 1:24.076. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt settled for the silver at 1:24.352, while Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken claimed the bronze at 1:24.514.
Calgary’s Justin Snith and Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., were 10th with a combined time of 1:25.243.
The World Cup continues in Winterberg, Germany on Sunday with the men’s singles and team relay races.
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COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Women’s Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Tatjana Hüfner, GER, 1:45.626; 2. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:45.648; 3. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:46.270; 4. Alex Gough, Calgary, CAN, 1:46.667; 5. Nina Reithmayer, AUT, 1:47.021
Other Canadian Results:
12. Arianne Jones, Calgary, 1:48.096
Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Linger/Linger, AUT, 1:24.076; 2. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:24.352; 3. Eggert/Benecken, GER, 1:24.514; 4. Yuzhakov/Makhnuti, RUS, 1:24.519; 5. Oberstolz/Gruber, ITA, 1:24.574
10. Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Snith, Calgary, 1:25.243