Latvians dominate Whistler track 

Martins Dukurs wins race; Brother Tomass sets new track record

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - Latvia's Martins Dukurs completes his winning run at Whistler Sliding Centre on Saturday.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • Latvia's Martins Dukurs completes his winning run at Whistler Sliding Centre on Saturday.

The Dukurs brothers proved to be kings of the Whistler Sliding Centre on Saturday.

The Latvians both set new track records at the BMW IBSF World Cup skeleton race at various points, dropping Canadian Jon Montgomery's mark of 52.20 seconds set during the 2010 Olympics.

Martins Dukurs, the eventual champion who has now won all six races this season, got in on the action early with his 52.15 time, though Tomass bested that with his second run of 52.11.

With a stout 0.33-second advantage heading into the second run, Martins held on for the win with a combined time of one minute, 44.31 seconds (1:44.31) to hold off his brother by 0.28 seconds. Korean's Sungbin Yun was third, 0.93 seconds off the pace.

Dave Greszczyszyn was the top Canadian in fifth, 1.37 seconds back, while Barrett Martineau improved his second run to jump from 11th to eighth. Both results were career bests. Evan Neufeldt did not qualify for a second run.

Martins Dukurs acknowledged even with his cushion, there was little room for error after his brother laid down the gauntlet.

"I'm happy that I stayed in first place," he said. "I'm happy that I put together a more of less solid run compared to training."

Tomass noted he likes technical tracks like Whistler to help separate the truly talented sliders from the rest. However, noting the Whistler venue is on the extreme end of technical, he was thrilled to pull off the accomplishment.

"I'm happy because on this track, it's really, really hard to get a good run," he said.

Greszczyszyn wasn't overly enthused with his first run, but trimmed 0.32 seconds off his second attempt to secure his best result of the season.

"Run 1, I was a bit shaky and maybe a little too excited and loaded a bit too early," he said. "Run 2, I figured it was time to put some pressure on the other guys, but they matched it, though. I was hoping to move up a spot or two but Matt Antoine and Yun, his sliding's incredible. They earned it."

Speaking of Whistler Sliding Centre, skeleton

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