Martins Dukurs wins sixth skeleton World Cup event of season
IGLS, Austria (AP) -- Martins Dukurs of Latvia won his sixth skeleton World Cup event of the season to wrap up the overall title with a race to spare on Saturday.
Earlier, Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold of Britain overcame a poor start to her first run to win the women's event.
Dukurs, who won the European Championship last week, posted the fastest time in both runs. His 37th career win stretched his lead in the overall standings to 226 points over his older brother Tomass, with one event remaining in Sochi, Russia, next week. A win is worth 225 points.
"This is a great time to be here, to take part in this competition because you see what's happening here," Dukurs said, pointing at a group of cheering Latvian fans. "That gives extra motivation and emotions."
Dukurs beat Russians Alexander Tretiakov by 0.45 and Nikita Tregybov by 0.74 with the rest of the field more than 1.25 off the lead. Tomass Dukus finished 1.51 behind in eighth.
Tretiakov remained the only athlete to beat the Latvian this season by winning in Koenigssee, Germany, in January.
In the opening run of the women's race, Yarnold lost pace when her sled steered out of the groove before entering the track but she still finished the heat in fourth, 0.11 behind leader Janine Flock of Austria.
Yarnold posted the fastest second-run time to claim victory, 0.18 ahead of Elisabeth Vathje of Canada. Flock trailed by 0.37 in third.
"I was actually quite tired going into the second run," Yarnold said. "Because this is our fifth week consecutively we are competing, so it's a bit of an endurance race."
With two World Cup events remaining, Flock took the overall lead by one point ahead of Germany's Tina Hermann. Yarnold is 68 points back in third.
Another women's World Cup race, which will also count as the European Championship, is scheduled for Sunday. It replaces last week's event which was canceled because of bad weather in La Plagne, France.