Dukurs leads in Koenigssee
Olympic silver medalist Martins Dukurs is on course to cap a golden season at the FIBT World Skeleton Championships after silencing a partisan German crowd to lead at the halfway stage in Koenigssee.
Dukurs arrived in Bavaria as the World Cup champion for the second year running having won five races this season and as the clear favourite to upgrade his Olympic silver to global gold.
And the Latvian didn’t disappoint clocking the fastest time of the first run, 51.18 seconds, 11 hundredths ahead of Germany’s Michi Halilovic and a further 13 ahead of another home slider Sandro Stielicke.
Just when it couldn’t get better for Dukurs he smashed a new track record with his second run two clocking 50.67 for a combined time of 1:41.85 minutes to lead by well over half a second.
In a sport with hundredths of second usually separate the podium positions Dukurs’ cushion of 0.57 ahead of Halilovic in second and 0.13 further in front of Stielicke† in third is nigh on surpassable.
However having found himself in a similar position at the Olympics last year in Vancouver only to surrender gold to home hopeful Jon Montgomery Dukurs will be keen to avoid history repeating itself.
“I am not comfortable with the lead I have at all,” said Dukurs. “I have two more runs to come and it is going to be close with the other guys at the top with me.
“Every mistake costs time and my first run wasn’t very good and I still made mistakes in my second run but it was a little bit better so I am happy.”
Meanwhile Kristan Bromley is Britain’s best chance of a medal after finishing fifth overall after the first two runs in 1:42.71 – just 16 hundredths of a second away from German Stielicke.
Fellow Brit Chris Type is nine places further down in 14th after clocking a combined time of 1:43.70 with Andy Wood two behind in 16th with 1:53.81.