Alex Gough reaches 3rd-straight luge World Cup podium
Luge racer adds bronze to medal haul in 2016-17
Canada's Alex Gough extended her World Cup podium streak to three with a bronze medal in women's singles luge racing in Park City, Utah on Saturday.
Sitting in fifth spot after the first run down the 1,140-metre track, the most successful Canadian luge athlete climbed onto the World Cup podium for the 24th time in her career, winning the bronze medal with a two-run time of 1:29:584.
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"It was alright today. I definitely still have some room to be a little faster, but I had two good runs and I'm happy with how I ended up," Gough said. "My starts were not as great as I would have liked, but I was still competitive. I'm always pushing for more, but it was a good day."
It was just the third time the 29-year-old Calgarian has reached the podium at the 2002 Olympic venue. She was also third during the 2013-14 season and in 2010.
"We don't come to Park City every year, but when we do it is a track I have a lot of fun on and enjoy coming to," Gough said. "It is a big, flowy and fast track. We don't get a lot of time training here so we miss a little bit of the speed the Americans have with getting to train here every year. It is a bit of a numbers game, but I really just try to make the best of the six training runs I get."
American Hamlin tops podium
It was a rare North American sweep of the medals in the women's race. Erin Hamlin, of the United States, clocked a golden time of 1:29.257. Hamlin's teammate Emily Sweeney slid to the silver medal with a time of 1:29.384.
Two other Canadian athletes also suited up on Saturday. Calgary's Kim McRae, who won the silver medal two weeks ago in Lake Placid, was seventh with a time of 1:30.010. Calgary's 17-year-old, Brooke Apshkrum, also earned a spot in the final race before the holiday break, finishing 19th at 1:30.897.
Spending much of the last two seasons taking engineering courses at the University of Calgary,
Gough has made a strong statement to the world since returning full-time to the Canadian luge program this fall.
"I kind of felt [splitting time between school and luge] was catching up to me at the end of last season so it is really important for me to have some good success early in the season," said Gough. "I had a disappointing start in Winterberg, but that was really the weather and sled set up. It was nice to get back to North America and have things settle back into being competitive.
"Winning at in Whistler was great. There is always a little room to go and push on all the other tracks. I'm just racing against myself and trying to be faster, and not finish third all the time."