Martins Dukurs wins skeleton World Cup in Germany
More than a second faster than silver medalist
Martins Dukurs of Latvia won a World Cup skeleton race Friday in Winterberg, Germany., by a huge margin, re-establishing himself as the Olympic favorite after topping the field by more than a second.
Dukurs finished two runs down a rain-soaked Winterberg track in 1 minute, 54.93 seconds for his second victory in four races this season and his sixth win on that course. He beat Tomass Dukurs, his brother, by 1.19 seconds.
Alexander Tretiakov of Russia was another 0.34 seconds back for third.
Latvia, Russia and the United States each had two sliders in the top six. Matt Antoine -- who was second after the first run -- finished fourth for the U.S., one spot ahead of teammate John Daly, who posted his second straight top-five showing. Sergei Chudinov of Russia was sixth.
Tretiakov held on to the top spot in the overall World Cup standings with 845 points, 25 ahead of Martins Dukurs and 60 ahead of Antoine.
It's tradition in Winterberg for the medal winners to be handed huge glasses of beer on the medal stand, and Martins Dukurs said he wanted to get to that just about as quickly as he got to the finish.
"Great race for me," he said. "Can I drink now?"
The drama was gone after the first run, with Dukurs -- who finished a disappointing and surprising eighth in Lake Placid in the last World Cup race before the holiday break -- leading Antoine by 0.71 seconds at the midway point of the competition.
"I was in a position to medal and I should have," said Antoine, who medaled twice in the season's first three races, including a win at Lake Placid. "Made a pretty catastrophic mistake up at the start there, and on this track, where it's so push-dependent, can't make that mistake."