Canada's Alex Gough Slides to Bronze at Luge World Cup in Germany
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.
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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.
8, Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Snith, Calgary, 1:42.517.