Alex Gough Fifth at Luge World Cup
OBERHOF, Ger.—Alex Gough was not able to break down the powerful Germans at the Luge World Cup in Oberhof, Germany on Saturday.
Clearly the top women’s luge athlete in the world outside of Germany, Calgary's 26-year-old Gough finished fifth after clocking a two-run time of 1:24.527 on a highly-technical 11-corner track in Oberhof.
“It was a tough one. We knew we didn’t have much training so I think it was the maximize we could achieve here on the technical track this week,” said Wolfgang Staudinger, head coach, Canadian Luge Team. “There was nothing dramatic, but we just had a little mistake here and there and that accumulates.”
With the rest of the world having limited run volume on the German track, the already powerful German nation slid to the top-four positions in the women’s event for the second-straight year. Tatjana Hufner grabbed the gold at 1:23.925, while Natalie Geisenberger was second at 1:23.941 and Dajana Eitberger slid to the bronze (1:24.316).
It was a solid day for the three Canadian women who combined to finish as the next strongest nation behind the Germans.
Calgarians Kim McRae cracked the top-15 after punching the clock at 1:25.046 for 14th spot, while Arianne Jones placed 17th at 1:25.169.
“This is a very demanding and technical track and we just don’t have the experience on this track but we knew this,” said Staudinger, who added McRae was ninth after the first run before dropping down the standings. “It was tough on our young sleds because they just couldn’t find the rhythm today. But we’ll get through this week and move on. The most important thing for us here is to collect point for the seeded group at the Olympics.”
It was equally challenging in the men’s doubles race. Canada’s medal-winning duo of Tristan Walker (Cochrane, Alta.) and Calgary’s Justin Snith of last week, placed eighth at 1:24.168.
Germany sleds grabbed the top-two spot on the doubles podium as well. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken posted a winning time of 1:23.212. Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt were second at 1:23.591. Russia’s Vladislav Yuzhakov and Vladimir Makhnutin celebrated the bronze with a time of 1:23.609.
The World Cup continues on Sunday in Oberhof when men’s singles hits the start line.
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COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Women’s Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Tatjana Hufner, GER, 1:23.925; 2. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:23.941; 3. Dajana Eitberger, GER, 1:24.316; 4. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:24.406; 5. Alex Gough, Calgary, CAN, 1:24.527
Other Canadian Results:
14. Kim McRae, Calgary, 1:25.046; 17. Arianne Jones, Calgary, 1:25.169
Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Eggert/Benecken, GER, 1:23.212; 2. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:23.591; 3. Yuzhakov/Makhnutin, RUS, 1:23.609; 4. Oberstolz/Grueber, ITA, 1:23.762; 5. Penz/Fischler, AUT, 1:23.841
8. Walker, Cochrane, Alta.,/Snith, Calgary, 1:24.168