(ISN) – OBERHOF, Ger.—Alex Gough had a smile on her face despite finishing off the podium for the first time this year on the Luge World Cup in Oberhof, Germany.
Winning silver medals in her opening two races of the year, Gough made huge gains on a track that has wreaked havoc for the 27-year-old Calgarian throughout her 10-year career. Taking advantage of two personal best start times in Oberhof (6.792 and 6.779), Gough was the only woman outside of Germany to finish in the top-five, sliding to fourth place at 1:24.626.
“Oberhof is a track that is a challenge for me to do well on so I thought today went really well,” said Gough. “I only ever get the nine runs a year here that we get during World Cup week and that makes it tough to go against the Germans who have hundreds. I was really happy to pull personal best starts, and be only one-tenth out of a medal. I made a big jump in getting closer to the Germans here today.”
A three-time Olympian, Gough has 20 World Cup and two World Championship medals to her credit. She has never stepped onto the podium in Oberhof.
Leveraging their experience on the home track, the Germans swept the women’s podium. Natalie Geisenberger clocked a golden time of 1:23.104. Tatjana Huefner slid to the silver, while Dajana Eitberger completed the sweep with a time of 1:23.359.
Two other Calgary-based Canadian women also hit the start house in Oberhof. Kim McRae slid to 12th spot at 1:24.121, while Arianne Jones placed 19th (1:24.626).
The Canadian relay team of Gough, Sam Edney and Tristan Walker and Justin Snith also slid into fourth spot for the second straight week. With Gough setting the pace posting the second fastest time in the women’s leg, the Canucks were not able to hang onto a podium spot, finishing fourth with a time of 2:24.475.
The relay consists of athletes each taking a one-run bomb down the track. They hit a green pad that hangs over the finish line which opens the start gate at the top for their teammate.
Germany handily won the relay with a time of 2:23.279. The Americans were second at 2:24.062, while Russia slid to the bronze medal with a time of 2:24.130.
The World Cup now heads down the road to Winterberg, Germany next week.