Canada’s Alex Gough Kicks Off 2015 with Silver Medal at Luge World Cup
KONIGSSEE, Ger.—Alex Gough slid into 2015 by winning her 20th career World Cup medal after celebrating the silver on Saturday as the elite luge circuit picked up in Konigssee, Germany.
Competing in just her second race of the year after taking first-year engineering courses at the University of Calgary prior to Christmas, the 27-year-old Calgarian clocked a second place time of one minute, 41.760 seconds (1:41.760) on the 11-corner track.
“Definitely it was a great way to start 2015,” laughed Gough. “I was in a good position after my first run and had a decent second run so overall it was a solid performance.”
Gough was also second on her home track in Calgary when the three-time Olympian made her season-debut three weeks ago before the holidays.
“We had a nice break, but it was good to get back at it this week. It was important for me to get on the podium right away and keep the ball rolling.”
It was the sixth podium finish in Konigssee for Gough who now has 20 World Cup medals in her historic career. It was also the best-ever finish for Canada’s most accomplished luge athlete in Konigssee as she has previously won five bronze medals on the track. Gough also has two career World Championship medals on her resume.
“This is a home-away-from home for us so I really like this track,” said Gough, who added Konigssee is head coach, Wolfgang Staudinger’s hometown. “We spend a lot of time here. When we have weeks off in Europe we do a lot of training here. It is a comfortable track for me and it is a lot of fun to slide on.”
Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger topped Gough for the gold in the second straight race. Geisenberger flashed a time of 1:41.411 in the winner’s circle. Germany’s Dajana Eitberger slid to the bronze with a time of 1:41.871.
Two other Calgary-based Canadians also finished in the top 10. Calgary’s Kim McRae finished in ninth spot at 1:42.595. Coming off her first-ever World Cup medal, Calgary’s Arianne Jones posted her third-straight top-10 finish, placing 10h at 1:42.796.
Meanwhile, Canada’s doubles team of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith dropped into ninth spot. Coming off a bronze-medal finish of their own at home in Calgary, the duo clocked a time of 1:42.096.
Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished on top at 1:40.810. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, also of Germany, were second with a time of 1:40.995. Austria’s Peter Penz and Georg Fischler slid to the bronze medal at 1:41.034.
The World Cup continues on Sunday with the men’s singles and team relay races.
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COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org
Women’s Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1.Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:41.411; 2. Alex Gough, Calgary, CAN, 1:41.760; Dajana Eitberger, GER, 1:41.871; 4. Emily Sweeney, USA, 1:41.960; 5. Tatjana Hufner, GER, 1:42.093
9. Kim McRae, Calgary, 1:42.595; 10. Arianne Jones, Calgary, 1:42.796
Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:40.810; 2. Eggert/Benecken, GER, 1:40.995; 3. Penz/Fischler, AUT, 1:41.034; 4. Sics/Sics, LAT, 1:41.463; 5. Gudramov/Kalnins, LAT, 1:41.549.
9. Tristan Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Justin Snith, Calgary, 1:42.056.