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Canada continues push for Olympic luge medal with World Cup relay silver

Canadian Alex Gough prepares for a run at the women's Luge World Cup in Koenigssee, Germany, Saturday Jan. 4, 2014.

Tobias Hase/AP

Canada continued to push towards its first Olympic luge medal, winning silver in the team relay at a World Cup event Sunday.

Sam Edney, Alex Gough and Justin Snith, all from Calgary, and Tristan Walker of Cochrane, Alta., joined forces to win silver in two minutes 44.499 seconds.

"We had a race full of little mistakes from all three sleds including Sam bumping the wall off the start. Having made mistakes, and to still finish second, shows the class these three sleds are sliding in right now," said Canada head coach Wolfgang Staudinger. "It was another great day and we are happy with how things are going."

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Germany finished on top at 2:42.781, while Italy took bronze in 2:44.681.

It was the third silver for the Canadian foursome in the team relay this year.

"It gets tighter and tighter every week and less room for mistakes," said Staudinger. "Nothing is a guarantee in this race. Can very easily be standing in fourth and not very happy. That's what makes this event so exciting. With three sleds there is lots of room for error, but our results show we are definitely in the game."

The team competition consists of one female sled, one male sled and one doubles team sled. Each athlete completes one run for a combined final time. The event will make its Olympic debut next month at the Sochi Games.

In singles competition, Felix Loch of Germany easily won his third World Cup luge race of the season , posting the fastest heat in both runs and beating Italy's Armin Zoeggeler by nearly a second.

Loch finished in 1:38.266 seconds. Zoeggeler's time was 1:39.129 and Switzerland's Gregory Cariget was third in 1:39.203.

Only five sliders in the 32-man field finished within a second of Loch, the defending Olympic champion and current World Cup points leader.

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Chris Mazdzer of the U.S. had major trouble in his first run, then had the third-best time in the second heat of 49.697 seconds to finish 21st overall. Tucker West was 23rd for the U.S., and Aidan Kelly failed to finish his first heat.

Mazdzer remained fifth in the overall points standings.

Edney finished fifth in 1:39.232.

"Sam is so close to breaking through and getting onto the podium," Staudinger said. "He is no different than Alex a few years ago and the doubles this year. When you finish in that group consistently, it is just a matter of time until the ball starts rolling and it happens. He was very close today to it being his day."

Calgary's Mitchel Malyk was 20th (1:40.204).

With files from The Associated Press

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