Olympics

Dukurs wins fourth straight World Cup skeleton race, nears clinch

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IGLS, Austria (AP)

Martins Dukurs of Latvia won his fourth consecutive World Cup skeleton race Saturday, moving closer to the seasonlong points title and remaining eligible for a huge bonus payday.

Dukurs' winning time was 1 minute, 45.76 seconds, a quarter-second better than Russia's Alexander Tretiakov.

Lativa's Tomass Dukurs was third, 1.41 seconds off the pace.

The U.S. had three sleds in the top eight, with John Daly placing fifth, Matt Antoine finishing sixth and Kyle Tress taking eighth.

By posting the fastest time in both heats, Martins Dukurs remained in the running for the FIBT "Triple Crown." If he is again the fastest in both heats in the World Cup season-finale at Konigssee next weekend, just as he also did at St. Moritz a week ago, he would win a bonus of about $135,000.

Martins Dukurs also opened up an 80-point lead over Tretiakov in the seasonlong points chase. But Russian sliders are not expected to compete in the World Cup finale, and will head to the Sochi Olympic track for some additional training instead before other nations arrive early next month.

That means all Martins Dukurs needs to wrap up no worse than a share of what would be his fifth consecutive overall World Cup title is a 12th-place finish next weekend. And he's finished at least 12th in each of his last 43 World Cup races dating back to early 2009.

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