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Canada's Alex Gough Slides to Bronze at Luge World Cup in Germany

Gough racks up third medal in four races this year, Arianne Jones posts career-best

KONIGSSEE, Ger.—Canada’s Alex Gough began the New Year the same way she ended 2011 – on the podium.

The 24-year-old Calgarian battled through challenging weather conditions to slide to her third medal of the season, winning the bronze in Konigssee, Germany on Thursday. The two-time Olympian clocked a two-run time of one minute, 42.630 seconds (1:42.630).

“I’m very happy with the result, but I would have liked to have been closer to first and second,” said Gough, who was also third in Konigssee one year ago during a breakout season where she had one victory and three bronze medals on the World Cup to go along with her third-place finish at the World Championships.

“This was the first race of the season where I was trying to have a repeat performance from last year, rather than improving and I was able to accomplish that.”

Gough had a solid first run where she sat in fourth overall amongst a group of Germans before making her charge to the podium on her final trip down the track. It is her second third-place finish this year to go along with a historic run in Calgary one month ago where she became the first Canadian to win a luge World Cup race on home ice.

 

“The weather changed between the doubles and the women’s race, and I ended up not on an ideal set up for the conditions,” said Gough. “However, I pulled good starts and I had a good first run so I was in a pretty good place. I made a couple of small mistakes on the second run and was able to move up to third.”

 

Germany grabbed the top-two spots on the podium. Tatjana Hufner won the race with atime of 1:41.900, while Natalie Geisenberger slid to the silver at 1:42.074.

 

Calgary’s Arianne Jones clocked her best-ever World Cup finish, placing seventh with a combined time of 1:43.185. Calgary’s two 19-year-old rookies, Kim McRae and Dayna Clay also had solid outings. McRae was 13th at 1:43.739, while Clay finished 19th at 1:44.362.

Earlier in the day Canada’s lone doubles team of Tristan Walker (Cochrane, Alta.) and Justin Snith, of Calgary, had two good runs until a mistake in the final curve, which dropped them to eighth place for a solid finish of 1:42.517.

Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt were first at 1:41.172. Austria’s Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger finished second with a time of 1:41.406. Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken rounded out the doubles podium in third at 1:41.829.

The Luge World Cup continues on Friday in Konigssee with the men’s singles race followed by the team relay event.

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 its title sponsor, Fast Track Capital, along with the support 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.

COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org

Top-Five Women’s and Canadians Results:

1. Tatjana Hufner, GER, 1:41.900; 2. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:42.074; 3. Alex Gough, Calgary, CAN, 1:42.630; 4. Corinna Martini, GER, 1:42.764; 5. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:42.799.

Other Canadian Results:

7. Arianne Jones, Calgary, 1:43.185; 13. Kim McRae, Calgary, 1:43.739; 19. Dayna Clay, Calgary, 1:44.362.

Top-Five Doubles and Canadians Results:

1. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:41.172; 2. Linger/Linger, AUT, 1:41.406; 3. Eggert/Benecken, GER, 1:41.829; 4. Penz/Fischler, AUT, 1:42.104; 5. Yuzhakov/Makhnutin, RUS,1:42.208.

Canadian Results:

8, Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Snith, Calgary, 1:42.517.