Gough finishes third to earn Canada its first-ever medal in women's luge
Canadian luger Alex Gough, of Calgary celebrates winning a bronze medal in women's luge as Kim McRae, of Calgary looks on at the Olympic Siding Centre at he Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:15AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:32AM EST
PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of -- Alex Gough won Canada's first-ever Olympic luge medal Tuesday, grabbing bronze in the women's singles race at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
A disappointing fourth in Sochi four years ago, the Calgary native finished with a combined four-run time of three minutes 5.644 seconds.
Germany's Natalie Geisenberger captured her second consecutive gold medal in 3:05.232, while compatriot Dajana Eitberger was second in 3:05.599.
Gough looked to be headed to another fourth-place finish after dropping back a spot from third on her final run down the track when Eitberger put in a solid run.
But fellow German Tatjana Huefner, who had been in second, made a mistake on her run right after Gough to push the Canadian onto the podium.
"Elated. Just so over the moon," said Gough, who was competing at her fourth Olympics. "Especially to come that gut-wrenching feeling of being behind (Eitberger) and probably in a fourth spot again and to have that flip around on me and be suddenly in a medal spot is so amazing."
Gough sat third after Monday night's first two runs with a combined time of 1:32.645 to put her just 0.191 seconds back of Geisenberger at the Olympic Sliding Centre in the South Korean mountains.
Gough, 30, kept hold of that position through Tuesday's third run of 46.425 seconds, 0.336 seconds back of Geisenberger, and just 0.017 seconds behind Huefner for second.
She was unable to get any closer after clocking 46.574 seconds on her fourth trip down the track, but will still go down as the first Canadian luger to step on an Olympic podium.
Calgary's Kimberley McRae wound up fifth in 3:05.878 at her second Olympics, while Brooke Apshkrum, also of Calgary, was 13th in 3:07.102 at the 18-year-old's first Games.
Gough was just 0.433 seconds behind American Erin Hamlin for bronze in Sochi, while McRae was 0.75 seconds short of reaching the podium in fifth.
Gough, men's singles luger Sam Edney, and doubles sliders Tristan Walker and Justin Snith were also a frustrating fourth in the team relay four years ago in Russia.
The quartet was bumped up to bronze for what would have been Canada's first-ever Olympic luge medal in December after two Russian competitors were among 40 athletes from that country stripped of their 2014 results and handed lifetime bans by the International Olympic Committee for alleged doping violations.
But citing insufficient evidence, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned that punishment for 28 of those athletes, including lugers Albert Demchenko and Tatiana Ivanova.
Fourth in the overall World Cup standings this season, Gough has won 25 career medals on the circuit. She's also made the podium five times at the world championships, including two third-place finishes in singles (2011 and 2013).
Gough became the first Canadian luger to win gold in a World Cup race when she snapped a 13-year, 105-race German winning streak in February 2011.
McRae won bronze at last year's worlds, and was 10th on the World Cup circuit this year.
Walker and Snith are compete in the doubles race Wednesday ahead of Thursday's team relay. Edney was sixth in the men's race.