Canada wins bronze in Luge relay to close out World Cup meet in Germany

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The Associated Press

KOENIGSSEE, Germany: Canada wrapped up a Luge World Cup meet Sunday with a bronze medal in the relay race.

Calgary’s Alex Gough, who won the silver medal in Saturday’s women’s race, teamed with Sam Edney (Calgary) and the doubles team of Justin Snith (Calgary) and Tristan Walker (Cochrane, Alta.) to finish in two minutes 46.394 seconds.

The Canadians looked poised to win the silver until a mistake at the bottom of the doubles run cost them some time.

Germany finished first in 2:44.493 while the United States was second at 2:45.895.

“It was good to have our whole group back racing again, and get on the podium though. I think as a group we feel we didn’t win the bronze, but lost the silver today,” Edney said.

It was the first World Cup podium for the Canadians, who were heavy favourites to win a medal in the event when the team relay made its debut at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The Canucks finished in fourth place in Sochi.

“It was important for us to get on the podium today for sure,” Edney said. “The teams are now looking at this as a big race because they saw Olympic medals handed out last year. We know we are a team that can be on the podium each week and we don’t want to be on the outside looking in any more.”

The relay is a one-run race consisting of one women’s, one men’s and one doubles sled. Athletes hit a pad hanging over the track after crossing the finish line, which opens the start gate for the next team member.

Earlier, Olympic champion Felix Loch of Germany won his third men’s race of the year.

Loch, a four-time world champion, was fastest in both runs for a combined time of 1:39.716 seconds, beating compatriot Andi Langenhan by 0.755 seconds and American Chris Mazdzer by 0.809.

Edney finished eighth.

After a winless December, Loch’s 21st World Cup win extends his lead in the overall standings to 463 points at the halfway stage. Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller is second on 366, followed by Langenhan on 323.

Natalie Geisenberger won the women’s competition on Saturday, when Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt also claimed the doubles win for Germany.