Loelling wins, Henry grabs 1st US skeleton medal of season

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              Germany's winner Jacqueline Loelling, center, Austria's second placed Janine Flock, left, and third placed United States's Megan Henry pose for media after the women's Skeleton World Cup race in Igls, near Innsbruck, Austria, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)
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IGLS, Austria (AP) — Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling won a women’s World Cup skeleton race Friday, while Megan Henry of the U.S. won her first career World Cup medal and the first medal for any American slider on that circuit this season.

Loelling finished two runs in 1 minute, 47.44 seconds — rallying in the second heat to narrowly beat Austria’s Janine Flock, the first-heat leader who finished in 1:47.46. Henry finished in 1:47.70.

Henry’s bronze was the first U.S. medal in skeleton since Kendall Wesenberg won a bronze at Lake Placid, New York, on Feb. 15, 2019. And it was the first American skeleton medal on foreign soil since Wesenberg won silver at St. Moritz, Switzerland on Jan. 20, 2017.

“There were a couple of mistakes I would have liked to clean up, but when I realized I had medaled I was super excited,” Henry said. “I can’t be disappointed with my first World Cup medal.”

Wesenberg was 14th and Savannah Graybill was 18th for the U.S.

In the men’s race, Latvia’s Martins Dukurs got his first win of the season — prevailing at the Innsbruck track for the 11th consecutive year. He won bronze there in 2008-09 and has won gold in all 11 races there since, 10 of those being in World Cup events and the other being at the 2016 world championships.

It was Dukurs’ 52nd career World Cup win. He finished in 1:44.50 and extended his lead atop the World Cup overall points standings for the season.

Yun Sungbin of South Korea was second in 1:44.92. Alexander Tretiakov of Russia won the bronze in 1:44.94.

Andrew Blaser led the U.S. men, placing 18th.