ALTENBERG, Ger.—The Canadian luge squad will spend its summer training for fractions of a second to climb back onto the World Cup relay podium after a fifth-place finish at the season-finale in Altenberg, Germany on Sunday.
A Calgary-based team of Alex Gough, Sam Edney, along with Tristan Walker and Justin Snith were locked at fifth-place as each of the three sleds plummeted down the challenging 15-corner German track in a combined time of 2:23.507.
“We have had a lot of successes this year as a group, but we recognize we have some gaps to fill before Korea next year,” said Walter Corey, high-performance director, Luge Canada. “We’ve had some great finishes in the team event, but we also have to continue to work hard and improve our game. We are still in the hunt, and after a good summer of physical training we will be in a good position.”
The Germans won the final relay of the season with a time of 2:23.021, while the Latvians were second at 2:23.146 followed by the Russians in third with a time of 2:23.230.
Calgary’s Alex Gough secured fifth place in the overall World Cup standings with a sixth place finish on Sunday in the women’s singles event. Boasting top start times all season long, the 29-year-old Gough clocked-in at 1:44.986.
Gough captured her third career World Cup victory at the Whistler stop this year. The three-time Olympian also had a bronze medal performance in both Lake Placid and Park City.
“Alex performed well again this year with three medals and continuously in the mix which is right where you want to be,” said Corey. “We’ve made some big gains this year. Alex continues to deliver, and Kim (McRae) coming through with a couple of medals of her own and a load of top-fives of her own.”
Calgary’s McRae was the only other Canadian in the women’s field on Sunday. The bronze medallist at the World Championships struggled to an 11th-place finish with a two-run time of 1:45.457.
The Germans swept the final women’s podium of the year. Natalie Geisenberg posted a golden time of 1:44.364. Tatjana Huefner was second at 1:44.435, while Dajana Eitberger claimed third spot after stopping the clock at 1:44.550.