Latvia take European Championship gold and its 50th World Cup win for Martins Dukurs

Martins Dukurs of Latvia has topped off his golden World Cup win with victory in the European Championships at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria. The Latvian won his 50th ever World Cup race and also celebrated his ninth successive European Championship title since 2010 as the race in Innsbruck also decided the title for European athletes.

Martins Dukurs secured his first ever World Cup win on 8 February 2008, a race at the season finale held in Winterberg. In the almost ten years that have passed since then, the now 33-year-old has gone on to become the most successful skeleton athlete of all time: In addition to 50 wins out of a total of 79 World Cup races, he has secured a further 16 podium finishes and the overall World Cup title eight times in succession since 2010. Martins Dukurs celebrated his most successful seasons in 2012/2013 and 2015/2016, when he achieved seven wins and one silver medal both times. Speaking to the press following the race Dukurs added “At the beginning of my career I had never thought to win 50 World Cup races. For me it’s always step by step and one race at a time. I am thankful that I managed this, also with my whole family”.

Second place in the World Cup race in Innsbruck went to Sungbin Yun of Korea 0.15 seconds behind the leader. He was followed by Junior World Champion Nikita Tregubov of Russia (0.49 seconds back), who therefore won silver in the European Championships.
World Championship runner-up Axel Jungk of Germany also secured European Championship bronze by finishing fourth in the World Cup race.
The UK’s Marcus Wyatt finished in a surprise 10th place on his World Cup debut, putting him in 7th in the European Championships. Other British athletes Jerry Rice and Dominik Parsons finished 14th and 18th respectively.

The talk of the press room following the race controversy surrounding Russian athlete Alexander Tretiakov who finished last in the race after failing to load onto the sled properly at the start of the first run, Tretiakov, disqualified from the Olympic Games in 2014 and banned from the Olympic Games for life was quoted in the Russian press that this may well have been his last race. He along with all other athletes disqualified in Russia has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding the decision.

Following the fifth of eight races in the BMW IBSF World Cup 2017/2018, Sungbin Yun (KOR, 1095 points) has defended his lead ahead of defending title holder Martins Dukurs (LAT, 1046). Tomass Dukurs (LAT, 928), sixth in Innsbruck, is currently third overall.

RacerReady will be reporting the results and views from the world cup races immediately the action finishes.
Certain pictures copyright of ©RacerReady ©MikeVarey@elite-pix
IBSF information and pictures ©RWH2017

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