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Canadians win team relay silver at luge World Cup

Canada's relay team earned silver at the luge World Cup season opener in Innsbruck, Austria on Sunday. The entry of Alex Gough, Mitchel Malyk, Tristan Walker, and Justin Snith finished 0.358 seconds behind the German sleds.

Alex Gough helps squad reach podium after narrowly missing medal in women's event

Alex Gough, seen at a previous event, helped Canada reach the podium in team relay at the luge World Cup season opener in Innsbruck, Austria, on Sunday. (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)

Canada earned a medal in the first team relay event of the season at the luge World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria, on Sunday.

Alex Gough, Mitchel Malyk, Tristan Walker, and Justin Snith combined to finish 0.358 seconds behind the German sleds.

Alex Gough, Mitchel Malyk, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith captured a silver medal after posting a time of 2:11.025 in the team relay at the FIL Luge World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria. 3:35

Germany, a powerhouse in luge, was led by Natalie Geisenberger, Felix Loch, and the doubles team of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken and clocked in at two minutes, 10.667 seconds.

Canada was next at 2:11.025, followed by the Russian team at 2:11.044.

The German team of Natalie Geisenberger, Felix Loch, Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken capture gold at the first event of the FIL Luge World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria. 4:17

Gough finished just off the podium in the women's singles event which was swept by Germany on Saturday and featured a win by Geisenberger, the reigning Olympic champion. 

"I had a good day yesterday, but sometimes the luck isn't on your side. There is not much more I could have done," said Gough of her fourth place finish.

"I just wanted to have fun today, and think of the enjoyment I have sliding. The goal was to have a great start and good runs. I was able to do that so I'm really happy we were able to finish on the podium. This will be a good confidence booster for our team."

The 30-year-old Gough got the Canadian team off to a sizable lead, while Malyk, along with the doubles tandem of Walker and Snith, held on to secure the silver.

The relay is a one-run bomb race that begins with a women's sled, men's singles sled followed by a doubles sled. Athletes hit a paddle that hangs over the finish line of the track to open the gate for the next competitor.

World champs sweep men's podium 

Russia's Semen Pavlichenko handled snowy conditions to win the men's luge for his fourth career singles victory.

Austria's Wolfgang Kindl was second on his home track, and Germany's two-time Olympic champion Loch was third.

Pavlichenko posted a total time of 1:41.771 seconds to take home gold at the FIL Luge World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria. 1:35

Sunday's medallists were also the three most recent world champions — Pavlichenko won in 2015, Loch in 2016 and Kindl took the title last season.

Malyk finished 29th in the singles event before helping Canada to silver in relay, while Samuel Edney was 31st. 

With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press

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