Canadians round out luge worlds with a pair of podiums 

Alex Gough wins bronze in women's event; Canada second in team relay

click to enlarge Alex Gough (right) celebrates her bronze medal at the FIL Luge World Championships in Whistler on Saturday, the second championship bronze of her career.
  • Alex Gough (right) celebrates her bronze medal at the FIL Luge World Championships in Whistler on Saturday, the second championship bronze of her career.

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"It's not a bad feeling," observed Tristan Walker.

"Not too shabby!" agreed Justin Snith.

It was their own personal best in a doubles event; Canada's first World Championship Under 23 title; Canada's first fourth place finish in doubles at a World Championship and the the best Canadian result in any event at the World Cup, World Championship or Olympic level.

The previous best at a World Championship was a sixth place result in 2001. The following year the Canadian team of Chris Moffat and Eric Pothier were fifth at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

"On the first run we were a little sloppy on the bottom part of the course, but we cleaned it up in the second," said Walker. "I'm really happy with the result, even with the few mistakes we made there's nothing we could have done to slide better than today."

"This was one big step for us to get to that next level and make the podium," said Snith, vowing to work even harder in the future. "We've put in a lot of work on our starts, trained all summer (but) the Germans were still five one-hundredths faster than us at the start, and on a shorter course there's no way we could make that up."

The tandem of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt were first overall with a two-run time of 1:12.842, followed by Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken in 1:13.042. Both teams are from Germany. Third went to Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger of Austria in 1:13:268 while Walker and Snith were just back of that mark in 1:13:346.

In the Under 23, the Italian team of Ludwig Rieder and Patrick Rastner were ahead of the Canadians after the first run, but hit a wall on their second run and dropped back a couple of places.

In the men's individual luge event, Canada's Sam Edney posted the best result of his career, and the best Canadian world championship result, with a fifth place finish - just over two one-hundreths of a second back of the podium and around four one-hundredths back of silver.

"What is four hundredths, I don't even know what that is," said Edney. "It feels really good to be finishing close to those guys, to be right in there with the Germans. But I knew that was what I needed to do, pull fast starts, and that's kind of what I need to be focusing on for the next year before the (2014 Olympic) Games."

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