Alex Gough Slips into Sixth at Luge World Cup in Park City
PARK CITY, Utah—Alex Gough was on her way to a medal, but a costly mistake in her final trip down the Olympic track in Park City dropped her into sixth place on Friday night in women’s luge.
Sitting in second spot after her first run, the 28-year-old Gough had a medal in her hands while sliding clean in her second bomb down the icy chute until she went a bit too high into corner 12 and smashed the wall in corner 13, which killed all her speed and a chance at the podium. The most accomplished luge athlete outside of Europe in the history of the sport was forced to settle for sixth spot with a time of 1:27.804.
“We had the same problem once in training and it cost us today, but the positive thing is the speed is there,” said Wolfgang Staudinger, head coach, Canadian Luge Team. “There is no reason for Alex to put her head into the ground and start crying. She should keep her head up. The speed is there and she was clean the whole way. But mistakes happen, and that was her first big error in a very long time. She’ll bounce back from this no problem.”
The error opened the door for the Americans to grab the top-two spots on the podium for the second straight week. Britcher Summer captured her first career World Cup victory with a time of 1:27.537. Erin Hamlin will continue to wear the World Cup leaders bib, thanks to a silver medal performance, clocking a time of 1:27.614. Germany’s Dajana Eitberger claimed the bronze at 1:27.770.
Calgary’s Kim McRae was the only other Canadian sled in the women’s field, and finished 14th (1:28.358).
Canada’s doubles tandem of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith had a tough outing, finishing 15th with a time of 1:28.710.
Putting down the second-fastest start time in the opening run, the Canadians were sloppy down the track dropping them to the bottom of the doubles pack with a time of 1:28.710.
Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt slid into the winner’s circle with a time of 1:27.092.
Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, also of Germany, slid to the silver medal with a time of 1:27.567, while Austria’s Peter Penz and Georg Fischler snagged the bronze medals at 1:27.679.
The World Cup continues on Sunday in Park City with the men’s singles races before heading north to Canada for the final race before the holiday break in Calgary.
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 from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s 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.Britcher Summer, USA, 1:27.537; 2. Erin Hamlin, USA, 1:27.614; 3. Dajana Eitberger, GER, 1:27.770; 4. Natalie Geisenberger, GER, 1:27.774; 5. Emily Sweeney, USA, 1:27.780
6. Alex Gough, Calgary, 1:27.804; 14. Kim McRae, Calgary, 1:28.358
Doubles Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Wendl/Arlt, GER, 1:27.092; 2. Eggert/Benecken, GER, 1:27.567; 3. Penz/Fischler, AUT, 1:27.679; 4. Gudramovics/Kalnins, LAT, 1:27.680; 5. Denisyev/Antonov, RUS, 1:27.688
15. Walker, Cochrane, Alta./Snith, Calgary, 1:28.710