Two-medal day for Canada to close luge World Cup 

Gough captures silver in women's race; relay squad slides into second place

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAVID BUZZARD / WWW.DAVIDBUZZARD.COM - Canadian luger Alex Gough finishes up her first run of Saturday's women's World Cup race at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Gough finished second in that race, then helped Canada to a team relay silver medal in the evening.
  • Photo by David Buzzard / www.davidbuzzard.com
  • Canadian luger Alex Gough finishes up her first run of Saturday's women's World Cup race at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Gough finished second in that race, then helped Canada to a team relay silver medal in the evening.

Canada closed the FIL Luge World Cup at the Whistler Sliding Centre with a two-medal day, capturing a silver medal in team relay just hours after Alex Gough earned a silver of her own in women's singles racing on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Germany won gold in all four events that took place over two days at the 2010 Olympic track, but the Canadians put together a weekend of consistent performances, recording a top-six result or better in every single race.

In Saturday's relay, Canada came across the finish line 0.411 seconds behind the Germans - a slightly smaller margin of victory for Germany compared to last winter's world championships in Whistler, when Canada was also the runner-up. The Canadian foursome of Gough, Sam Edney and doubles duo Tristan Walker and Justin Snith have now claimed two silver medals from three World Cup relay races this season.

"We all said at the finish that we're pretty happy to show that we're still on the podium," said Edney.

"We know it - if we put down three consistent runs, then we're competitive. We're behind the Germans; we're not happy about that at all, but I think we're slowly closing the gap."

Austria grabbed the relay bronze medal, edging the United States for third place.

For Canada, the result was also a bit of a bounce-back performance after the team was disqualified last week at Winterberg, Germany, when Walker and Snith left the start too early.

"With the false start we had last week, that definitely rattled us a little bit, but this week was really good," said Walker. "We still had really good reaction times."

Gough's silver medal in the earlier women's race was the first of her career. The 26-year-old, who has previously collected two golds and eight bronze medals during her time on the World Cup, finished with a two-run time of one minute, 13.412 seconds on Saturday to finish 0.133 seconds back of winner Natalie Geisenberger, the reigning world champion from Germany.

"I felt like I pulled really good starts," said Gough, who set the fastest start time on both runs. "My second run wasn't as great as I wanted it to be, I had a few little skids here and there and it could have been a little bit better ... but I had two good, consistent runs and I had the performance I wanted."

Germany's Anke Wischnewski took the bronze medal. Canada's Kim McRae finished 11th, Arianne Jones placed 14th and Jordan Smith was 17th.

The World Cup tour will now head to Park City, Utah, before the Christmas break. See Pique on Thursday, Dec. 12, for a complete wrap of the Whistler races.

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