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Alex Gough Slides to Fourth at Luge World Cup

Tristan Walker and Justin Snith continued consistent run in sixth

 KONIGSSEE, Ger.—Alex Gough slid a hair short of starting the New Year on the podium, finishing fourth at the Luge World Cup in Konigssee, Germany.

Starting in Konigssee for a rare second time this year in a make-up race for the cancelled Cesana event, the 25-year-old Calgarian put down the third fastest run in her second trip down the 11-corner track to jump into fourth with a time of 1:42.723.

“I had a tough break with the weather and the draw today because the track started frosting up, so that was a tough break, but I feel like I’m sliding really well,” said Gough. “I had two good starts today. I feel like I do have room to improve on the start, but I have to be satisfied today. I’m in the mix and this is their home track.”

Battling through a brutal schedule with five straight races on German tracks, the eight-year veteran of the Canadian squad could not knock off the dominant Germans on a track where the race is won and lost at the start. Gough was the lone athlete outside of Germany in the top five.

“This schedule with five of nine races on German tracks makes it very difficult for the rest of the world but we can’t make excuses. We have to deal with it,” said Staudinger. “We were a little unlucky today, but we have to be happy.”

The Germans sweep of the women’s podium included Natalie Geisenberger finishing on top at 1:42.325. Carina Schwab in the silver-medal position at 1:42.642, and Aileen Frisch in third (1:42.710).

Gough wasn’t the only Canadian to shine in the women’s race. Calgary’s 20-year-old had one of her best-ever World Cup results, finishing eighth with a time of 1:43.674. Arianne Jones, also of Calgary, was 12th at 1:44.030, while Dayna Clay clocked a 16th place time of 1:44.245 in her first World Cup start of the season.

The success story continued into the doubles race with of Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary’s Justin Snith, matching their career-best result in Europe in sixth spot to continue one of the most consistent season’s ever for Canada in the doubles category. Sitting in fourth after the opening run, the Canadian duo posted a two-run time of 1:42.838.

“It was another solid day for the doubles team. Being fourth in the first run is a great sign of their potential,” added Staudinger. “We are headed in the right direction, and there is no doubt we will find our way on the podium in doubles too if we keep working hard.”

Germany grabbed the top-two spots in the doubles race. Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt clocked a golden time of 1:41.411, while Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken grabbed the silver with a time of 1:42.287. Austria’s Peter Penz and Georg Fischler grabbed the bronze at 1:42.651.

The Luge World Cup continues on Sunday in Germany with the men’s singles and a team relay race.

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 nations 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
Women’s Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:42.325; 2. Carina Schwab, GER, 1:42.642; 3. Aileen Frisch, GER, 1:42.710; 4. Alex Gough, Calgary, CAN, 1:42.723; 5. Anka Wischnewski, GER, 1:42.811
Other Canadian Results:
8. Kim McRae, Calgary, 1:43.674; 12. Arianne Jones, Calgary, 1:44.030; 16. Dayna Clay, Calgary, 1:44.245

Men’s Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:

1. Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt, GER, 1:41.411; 2. Toni Eggert/Sascha Benecken, GER, 1:42.287; 3. Peter Penz/Georg Fischler, AUT, 1:42.651; 4. Andris Sics/Juris Sics, LAT, 1:42.688; 5. Ludwig Rieder/Patrick Rastner, ITA, 1:42.832.
Canadian Results:
6. Tristan Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Justin Snith, Calgary, 1:42.838