Two-medal weekend for Canadian lugers at home 

Gough's silver, relay team's runner-up finish in Whistler encouraging as Olympics approach

click to enlarge Better than Bronze Canada's Alex Gough finishes up her first run in women's World Cup luge competition on Dec. 7 at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Gough captured a silver medal in her individual race and helped the Canadian relay squad to a runner-up finish as well.
  • Better than Bronze Canada's Alex Gough finishes up her first run in women's World Cup luge competition on Dec. 7 at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Gough captured a silver medal in her individual race and helped the Canadian relay squad to a runner-up finish as well.

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"She's just on right now," said Gough. "I'm going to keep chasing and trying to catch her at the start and down the track."

McRae won the Dec. 5 Nations Cup race, which acts as a qualifier for the World Cup event. Pemberton's Jenna Spencer participated in that race as well and placed ninth, which would have put her into the field for a World Cup start on Saturday had she been identified by Luge Canada as a designated athlete for the event.

Walker and Snith matched a career-best finish on Friday by finishing fourth in the doubles race. The 22-year-olds sat sixth after the opening run but moved up two spots with a quick second session that left them 0.291 seconds behind the winning German team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, and just 0.027 off the podium.

"The difference was our first run," said Snith. "We had a couple of little skids on the way down, and that was the difference between fourth and third."

Germany's Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken placed second and Austrian sliders Peter Penz and Georg Fischler wound up third.

Walker and Snith now have three fourth-place finishes during their World Cup careers together, earning the two others at the end of last season. They were also fourth at the world championships last winter.

"Our last race (at Winterberg), we were in fifth place but just 13 thousandths from the podium," said Walker. "That's racing, though, in luge. It's a really close sport. But I think we're definitely capable of pushing up into the top three."

Edney recorded his third consecutive sixth-place finish in his individual race Friday, having placed in the same spot at Winterberg and Igls, Austria over the previous two weeks.

"Sixth place is a great result again," said the 29-year-old. "I know that it's that close to the podium. It's a matter of tenths of a second, which is inspiring and motivating."

Olympic and world champ Felix Loch was victorious in Whistler again Friday, earning his second World Cup win of the season. U.S. luger Chris Mazdzer finished second, picking up the first World Cup podium of his career, while Italy's Dominik Fischnaller placed third.

Germany occupied the top three positions after the opening run, but David Möller and Andi Langenhan fell out of the medal positions on the second run to place fourth and fifth, respectively. Rounding out the Canadian results, Mitchel Malyk finished 19th on Friday and John Fennell placed 24th.

Edney, who is good friends with Mazdzer, said he could take some inspiration from the American's podium finish as he aims for the first top-three of his career as well.

"That's going to motivate me to know that I can be that guy," said Edney.

"(My result) signifies that we're doing the right things as a team. The sled's running really great right now, which is something that I'm really thrilled with."

The World Cup schedule now heads to Utah's Park City track for races on Dec. 13 and 14, the final ones before the holiday break.

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