Canadian breaks German winning streak

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:42 AM ET

The German winning streak is over, and that means Alex Gough is a World Cup champion.

In a season full of historical runs, the Calgary luger became the first Canadian to win a World Cup race, taking Saturday’s race in Paramonova, Russia.

The 23-year-old clocked a two-run golden time of 1: 33.536, ending the German women’s unprecedented 105 straight victories — the longest running winning streak in the world of sport.

“This is absolutely fantastic. I still can’t believe it,” said Gough. “I always knew that this winning streak would come to an end one day, but I never thought that I would be the one to do it.

“This track is new for all of us. There is no one who can claim a home advantage. I’m extremely happy.”

The last time a non-German won a women’s World Cup race was Austria’s Andrea Tagwerker, way back on Nov. 29, 1997.

“You cannot even imagine what it was like around the finish line when a Canadian finally ended this streak,” said Canadian head coach Wolfgang Staudinger.

“This is not just history in Canada, but this is luge history in the world. We are very happy and will have to party as a team tonight.”

Germans did manage podium finishes, though. Carina Schwab was second at 1:33.914, while Natalie Geisenberger settled for the bronze with a time of 1:33.935.

Canada’s 20-year-old World Cup rookie, Arianne Jones of Calgary, also had a stellar day, placing in ninth with a time of 1:34.748.

Gough has completely redefined Canadian success on the luge circuit this season.

This gold is her fifth medal this campaign. No one else in Canadian history has more than one international medal.

Her season started with three bronze medals and, two weeks ago, she reached the podium with a bronze at the world championships.

During every race, she was just behind Germans, but now she proved she can beat them.

“It has been an incredible year and I just feel like so much of the hard work over the last six years is really paying off,” said Gough. “This is huge and incredible for not only me but our program in Canada. We have to keep building and growing from this.”

In men’s doubles, the young team of Tristan Walker of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary’s Justin Snith, finished 11th at 1:34.854. Austria’s Andreas Linger and Wolgang Linger with a time of 1:33.189.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ianbusby57


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