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Gough girls on podiums

Good weekend for Canadian sliders




It was a good weekend for Canadian sliders, with Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton picking up two medals at the World Cup in Calgary, and Luge Canada earning a rare podium at Winterberg, Germany.

The name "Gough" figured heavily, with Amy Gough earning a bronze in skeleton and Alex Gough a bronze in luge.

Alex Gough is only the fourth Canadian to ever reach the World Cup podium in luge.

"I am absolutely thrilled," she said. "I didn't have the best week of training but I knew last week in Austria that I could do this. I was in a really focused mindset, and wanted to have great starts and clean runs. It was pretty exciting coming up to the outrun on my second run knowing that I held my position."

Regan Lauscher was the last luge athlete to make the World Cup podium, in 2004. Other podiums were in 2002 and 1984.

Gough finished behind a pair of German athletes, Tatjana Hufner and Natalie Geisenberger. Canada's Arianne Jones was 11 th .

The luge team is back in action in Calgary this weekend.

While Alex Gough was making history in women's luge, Amy Gough was picking up a bronze medal in skeleton. She placed behind German Anja Huber and Shelley Rudman of Great Britain.

"I was pretty nervous heading into this race," Amy said. "But it is a track I'm definitely comfortable on, and I had a great race. My goal this year was to really come out and be as consistent as possible. Today's goal though was to get a Canadian on the podium, and we did that."

Mellisa Hollingsworth popped out of the grooves on the top of the course in both runs, but managed to place fourth. Sarah Reid was seventh.

Jon Montgomery couldn't repeat his gold medal performance from Whistler, placing 11 th in the men's competition. Jon Fairbairn was 12 th and Mike Douglas 13 th .

Martins Dukurs of Latvia placed first, followed by Alexander Tretiakov of Russia and Kristan Bromley of Great Britain.

Canada's best showing in bobsleigh was by Olympic silver medallist Helen Upperton and brakewoman Shelly-Ann Brown. The pair picked up the silver medal. Upperton did not compete in Whistler after crashing twice during training and separating her shoulder.

"This is the first time we've raced Calgary in three years so I'm thrilled to get on the podium," she said. Getting on the World Cup podium in women's bobsleigh is really hard now. It is always something we are proud to do."

The winner was the Germany 2 sled, with pilot Cathleen Martini and brakewoman Berit Wiacker. The Germany 1 team, pilot Sandra Kiriasis and Christin Senkel, was second.

In two-man bobsleigh the win went to the Germany 2 sled (pilot Karl Angerer and brakeman Gregor Bermbach), followed by the Germany 1 sled (pilot Manuel Machata and brakeman Andreas Bredau). The Monaco sled placed third, with pilot Patrice Servelle and Lascelles Brown - the latter being a member of the Jamaican Bobsleigh Team from 1999 to 2004, and the Canadian team from 2006 to 2010. Brown won two medals under the Maple Leaf. According to media reports, it was a financial decision by Brown, who is being paid to race by the Monaco team as it looks to become a competitor for 2014.

The Canada 1 sled, Lyndon Rush and Neville Wright, placed fifth, missing the podium by two-tenths of a second.

In four-man bobsleigh it was a German sweep of the podium. The Germany 2 sled (pilot Manuel Machata, brakeman Christian Poser and pushers Michail Makarow and Andreas Bredau) took the gold medal, followed by Germany 3 (pilot Karl Angerer, brakeman Christian Friedrich, and pushers Gregor Bermbach and Alex Mann), followed by Germany 1 (pilot Maximillian Arndt, brakeman Martin Putze and pushers Rene Tiefert and Alexander Roediger).

The Canada 1 sled (pilot Lyndon Rush, brakeman Neville Wright and pushers Chris le Bihan and Cody Sorensen) were sixth overall, missing the podium by just 0.31 seconds.