Sport Shorts: Gough Slides into the Record Books

Winterberg, GER: On Sunday, Canada won its fourth-ever individual World Cup medal in the sport of luge. The first one in six years was captured by two-time Olympian Alex Gough (Calgary). Gough’s great result opened some eyes in the luge world, which is dominated by Germany, which won its 100th gold medal in women’s luge. But Gough may be closing the gap on the world’s best. “I’m still chasing these German girls,” she said. “I don’t want be content with third. I’m still young and I want to keep getting better.” Last week, Gough won silver in the team relay event.

Gough’s teammate, Arianne Jones (Calgary), finished 11th, her best ever result. They return to Calgary today for a World Cup stop at Canada Olympic Park starting Friday. The only other Canadians to win a luge medal are Marie-Claude Doyen (1984), Tyler Seitz (2002) and Regan Lauscher (2004).

Düsseldorf, GER: In sprint relay on Sunday, Chandra Crawford and Daria Gaïazova notched the first World Cup medal of the season for Canada cross-country skiers. They won bronze, one day after Crawford (Canmore, Alta.) was a solid 8th in individual sprint. She and Gaïazova (Banff, Alta.) skied through downtown Dusseldorf and endured rainy conditions and crashes during the race. “It was mass chaos but we stayed out of trouble,” said Gaïazova.

Changchun, China: The story in speed skating was again Christine Nesbitt. The London, Ont. native won two gold medals in the 1,000 metres, where she is undefeated so far this season. For her first gold, she smashed the track record by more than one second. In short-track action in Changchun, Canada had great success on Sunday. Rémi Beaulieu (Alma, Que.) won silver in the 500 metres while teammate Marie-Ève Drolet (Laterrière, Que.) captured silver in the 1,000 metres. Later, the men’s relay team won gold – their third straight World Cup win to start the season. Those blazing skaters are Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.), Michael Gilday (Yellowknife), Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, Que.) and Beaulieu.

Calgary: For the second time in her career, Amy Gough won a World Cup medal in skeleton. The native of Abbotsford, B.C. won bronze last Thursday, narrowly squeezing past teammate Mellisa Hollingsworth (Eckville, Alta.), who was 4th. In bobsleigh action on Friday, Calgary’s Helen Upperton won bronze in her first World Cup race of the year. She thrilled her hometown crowd along with two-man partner Shelley-Ann Brown (Pickering, Ont.).

Melbourne, AUS: Edmonton’s Tara Whitten won silver in the omnium event on Saturday at a track cycling World Cup here. She is the world champion in this discipline. Teammate Zach Bell mirrored her result on the men’s side, winning silver in omnium. Bell is the top Canadian men’s track cyclist.

Östersund, SWE: Biathlete Jean-Philippe Le Guellec (Quebec), who finished in the top-15 in all four Olympic events last February, was the top Canadian here on Sunday. He finished 13th in the 12.5km pursuit. The top Canadian woman was Megan Imrie (Falcon Lake, Man.) in 69th spot in sprint.

Guadalajara: Here, in the host city of the 2011 Pan American Games, Canada won two medals in trampoline. Triple Olympic medallist Karen Cockburn (Toronto) won gold in the women’s final while Charles Thibault (Quebec) won silver on the men’s side. Overall, Canada qualified four trampoline gymnasts for the Pan American Games next year.

Moscow: Canada narrowly missed a bronze medal in the final standings of the FINA Synchronized Swimming World Team Trophy here on the weekend. The team placed 4th, less than three points behind Ukraine in 3rd spot. In this three-day event, all routines are judged solely on artistic merit. Celebrity judges are invited to join FINA judges in the scoring. If it was left only to the FINA judges, Canada would have sat in silver medal position.

Palmerstown, N.Z.: Canada finished 13th at the Women’s World Team Squash Championships here. They finished on a high note, with a win over Japan.

Santiago, Chile: Canadian water skiers won 14 medals at the Pan American Water Skiing Championships here. Canada was led by Jason McClintock (Cambridge, Ont.) with two gold medals and Amanda Amos (Midland, Ont.) with a gold medal.