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Gough wins World Cup luge race at home

December 17, 2011
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CALGARY, Alberta—Calgary racer Alex Gough became the first Canadian to win a World Cup luge race on home soil Friday, edging Germany's Tatjana Hufner at Canada Olympic Park.

Gough, also a World Cup winner last year in Russia, had a two-run time of 1 minute, 34.212 seconds. Hufner, the winner of the last three races in Calgary, followed in 1:34.324, and Russia's Tatiana Ivanova was third in 1:34.724.

"I'm a little in shock and a little in awe," the 24-year-old Gough said. "I'm so over the moon right now. It's incredible."

The victory ended Germany's 13-race winning streak and marked only the second time a Canadian has won a medal at home. Tyler Seitz finished third in a men's World Cup event in 2002, also in Calgary.

"I felt really good and really calm tonight," Gough said. "I was really focused on sliding and not on the exterior elements. It was just me sliding and it was good."

Gough said home-track advantage played a part in her victory.

"What helps is that we know how to slide in the wind because it's a little windy tonight," she said. "It played to my advantage. We train here all the time in the wind. That worked out for me tonight."

Huefner tops the World Cup standings with 270 points in pursuit of a record-breaking fifth consecutive season title. Gough is second, 40 points behind.

Emily Sweeney of Suffield, Conn., was the top American, finishing a career-best 12th in 1:35.832.

"The first run was not my best," Sweeney said. "I did have some troubles out of curve 10 with some skidding. In the second, I had a little slip at the start, but recovered from that."

Erin Hamlin of Remsen, N.Y., was 16th in 1:37.293, Ashley Walden of Westborough, Mass., finished 19th in 1:38.550, and Kate Hansen of La Canada, Calif., was 20th in 1:44.635.

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