Calgary's Gough top non-German at luge World Cup event with 5th-place finish

Associated Press

OBERHOF, Germany - Calgary's Alex Gough was not able to break down the powerful Germans on Saturday at the luge World Cup.

The 25-year-old Gough finished fifth after clocking a two-run time of one minute 24.134 seconds on a highly-technical 11-corner track in Oberhof, Germany.

"We have to be happy with this. It was a solid performance and as there was not much more room to improve today," said Wolfgang Staudinger, the head coach of the Canadian luge team.

Capitalizing on a favourable schedule with five straight races on their home track, the already powerful German team slid to the top-four positions in the women's event. Natalie Geisenberg finished on top at 1:23.597. Tanja Hufner claimed the silver with a time of 1:23.784, while Anke Wischnewski rounded out the podium in third at 1:23.896.

It was a solid day for the four Canadian women who combined to finish as the next strongest nation behind the Germans.

Dayna Clay was 13th (1:24.994); Kim McRae placed 17th (1:25.098) and Arianne Jones slid into 18th spot at 1:25.133. All three are from Calgary.

"This is a very demanding and technical track and I think we maximized our potential here this week," said Staudinger. "This schedule with five of nine races on German tracks makes it very difficult for the rest of the world, but we can't make excuses. We have to deal with it."

The races also counted as the European Championships.

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