Luge Canada

Canada’s Great Gough Slides to Bronze at Luge World Cup in Lake Placid

Tristan Walker and Justin Snith narrowly miss doubles podium in fourth

 LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—Canada’s Alex Gough captured the 10th World Cup medal of her career after sliding to the bronze at the Luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Friday afternoon.

Building on her thrilling bronze-medal finish at the World Championships last week at the Whistler Sliding Centre, the 25-year-old Calgarian put down two consistent runs to clock a time of 1:28.748 on the icy chute that winds its way down Mount Van Hoevenberg.

“It definitely was a good day. I had two solid runs and I am really happy with how things went,” said Gough, who has two World Championship bronze medals in her career. “I have been working on my consistency all year. I feel like I am a lot more calm with how I handle things, and that helped me today.”

The blonde Canadian bomber sat in fourth spot after the first run, but jumped onto the podium after Germany’s Anke Wischnewski struggled in the second heat.

“I knew it was so close that anything could happen on the second run,” said Gough. “I was able to build on it <the momentum from World Championships> today. The year has had its ups and downs for me, but I think I am a lot more consistent now and I am happy with how things are going.”

Germany’ Natalie Geisenberg continued her dominance of the Luge World Cup, winning for the second-straight week with a time of 1:28.811. American Julia Clukey captured the first medal of her career, winning the silver with a time of 1:28.735.

Three other Calgarians also hit the start line for women’s racing. Kimberley McRae was 12th (1:29.923), while Arianne Jones finished 13th (1:29.959), and rookie Jordan Smith placed 19th at 1:31.136.

Meanwhile, Canada’s tandem of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith continue knocking on the door of their first World Cup doubles podium. The 21-year-old Canucks finished a career-best fourth for the second straight week after clocking a two-run time of 1:28.570 in their first World Cup in Lake Placid.

“To be honest I was not expecting this at all,” said Walker. “This is one of the toughest doubles tracks in the world, and we had a really rough week in training. These were the only decent runs we had all week.”

Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary’s Snith put down the best doubles result in Canadian history at the Luge World Championships last week at the Whistler Sliding Centre. The fourth-place finish builds on a strong World Cup campaign for the Canadian duo who matched their previous career-best sixth-place finish twice this year.

“I really tried to manage my expectations coming here, and I expected a lot less this week,” added Walker. “It was a tough track for everyone. All of the doubles teams were struggling with it, but it turned out to be a great day for us.”

Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won for the second straight week in North America after posting a time of 1:28.256. Austria’s Peter Penz and Georg Fischler finished second at 1:28.387, while Italy’s Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber grabbed the bronze with a time of 1:28.557.

The World Cup wraps up on Saturday in Lake Placid with men’s singles and the team relay events.

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Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt, GER, 1:28.256; 2. Peter Penz/Georg Fischler, AUT, 1:28.387; 3. Christian Oberstolz/Patrick Gruber, ITA, 1:28.557; 4. Tristan Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Justin Snith, Calgary, CAN, 1:28.570; 5. Andreas Linger/Wolfgang Linger, AUT, 1:25.581

Women’s Top-Five Results:
1.Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:28.440; 2. Julia Cluke, USA, 1:28.735; 3. Alex Gough, Calgary, CAN, 1:28.748; 4. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:28.811; 5. Erin Hamlin, USA, 1:28.859
Other Canadian Results:
12. Kimberley McRae, Calgary, 1:29.923; 13. Arianne Jones, Calgary, 1:29.959; 19. Jordan Smith, Calgary, 1:31.136