Canada’s Great Gough Slides to Silver at Lillehammer Luge World Cup
LILLEHAMMER, Nor.—Alex Gough slid to her third silver medal of the World Cup season on a track she has little experience on in Lillehammer, Norway on Saturday.
Calgary’s Gough took advantage of solid starts and strong sliding to pick up the 21st World Cup medal of her career, clocking a second-place time of 1:35.732 on the 13-corner track that played host to the 1994 Olympic Winter Games.
“It was really good today. I definitely fought for it,” said Gough. “I don’t have a lot of experience here so I just tried to be consistent, and aerodynamic. I’m super happy with how I was able to do because I have not been here very much."
The 27 year old, three-time Canadian Olympian, has competed only two other times on the quick Lillehammer icy chute, which is a mix of many of the top tracks in the world with everything from flats, to long and short turns. Her previous best finish in Lillehammer was a bronze in 2013. She also slid into Norway as a junior in 2004.
“It is a really fun track and it was built with track record ice today,” said Gough. “It has a quick start, and is a gliding track, but there are key sections you must do right to slide it perfect. I was really happy with how I was able to fight through it today.”
Competing for the first time outside of Germany in nearly one month, Russia’s Tatiana Ivanova won the women’s race with a time of 1:35.306. Germany’s Dajana Eitberger slid to the final spot on the podium with a time of 1:35.753.
“When the Germans are out of Germany they are not as comfortable so it is nice to compete on tracks where it is more of a level playing field,” said Gough. “It does go through my head that we are not in Germany so they don’t have that advantage, but I don’t change my preparation or mindset regardless of where we slide.”
It was also a solid day for the other two Canadian sleds in the women’s race. Calgary’s Kim McRae, battled back into the top-10 with an eighth-place time of 1:35.988. Arianne Jones, also of Calgary, continues to consistently place in the top-10. Jones, who won her first career World Cup medal earlier this year on her home track in Calgary, was 10th (1:36.046).
Canada’s doubles team of Tristan Walker (Cochrane, Alta.) and Justin Snith (Calgary) were back in action after taking last week off with an injury to Snith’s foot. The Canadian duo posted a seventh-place time of 1:35.541.
Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished on top at 1:35.269. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, also of Germany, were second with a time of 1:35.304. Russia’s Alexander Denisyev and Vladislav Antonov teamed up to win the bronze after stopping the clock at 1:35.343.
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.Tatiana Ivanova, RUS, 1:35.306; 2. Alex Gough, Calgary, 1:35.732; 3. Dajana Eitberger, GER, 1:35.753; 4. Ekaterina Baturina, RUS, 1:35.782; 5. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:35.840
8. Kim McRae, Calgary, 1:35.988; 10. Arianne Jones, Calgary, 1:36.046
Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:35.269; 2. Eggert/Benecken, GER, 1:35.304; 3. Denisyev/Antonov, RUS, 1:35.343; 4. Oberstolz/Gruber, ITA, 1:35.370; 5. Sics/Sics, LAT, 1:35.463
7. Tristan Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Justin Snith, Calgary, 1:35.541