Antoine and Daly finish 4-5 in men's skeleton Winterberg World Cup
Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
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Antoine and Daly finish 4-5 in men’s skeleton Winterberg World Cup
WINTERBERG, Germany (Jan. 3, 2014)- Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) concluded the first half of the World Cup season on top of the podium with a gold medal performance in Lake Placid, N.Y., and started second half just 0.05 seconds from a bronze medal with a fourth place result in Winterberg, Germany today. Teammate John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) finished fifth to place two Americans in the top-six on a track normally dominated by Europeans.
“Matt is showing that he can be in the top four each race,” said Tuffy Latour, U.S. skeleton head coach. “John had another solid race today. This track has been one of our biggest challenges for the men, so even though the guys are disappointed with their results, today was really a success.”
Last year Antoine would have been pleased with a fourth place result while recovering from knee surgery, but his expectations have changed for the Olympic year. With two World Cup medals under his belt this season, including his first-ever victory, Antoine feels like he’s building at the right speed towards the 2014 Winter Olympic Games this February.
“I did everything I could to keep progressing, and in my mind I always knew it was going to come together this year,” Antoine said. “It’s great to be in the mix every week, and I’m always pushing to be better. ‘Good enough’ isn’t good enough for me, it needs to be the best.”
Antoine was the closest competitor to leader Latvian Martins Dukurs in the first heat with a run of 57.97 seconds, and he was hoping to maintain position to secure a silver medal. The veteran American made what he called a “catastrophic mistake” at the top, which scrubbed vital speed from his run. He could only muster the 11th fastest time in the second heat, but he dropped just two spots into fourth with a two-run total of 1:56.51.
“I know I can do a lot better,” Antoine said. “I was in medal position and I should have maintained my spot. The top of the track bit me, which happens sometimes, but it shouldn’t on race day.”
Daly has been steadily improving this season and posted nearly identical times of 58.29 and 58.27 seconds to finish fifth with a combined time of 1:56.56.
“We had a chance to recharge over the break and we’re ready for second half,” Daly said. “I had a better second run here today and I’m excited to race again next week.”
Dukurs started the season with gold and silver medals, but he had a lackluster conclusion to the first half with an eighth place finish in Lake Placid. He was back to dominant form today, leading the field by a distant 1.19 seconds for the victory. Dukurs slid speedy runs of 57.26 and 57.67 for a combined time of 1:54.93. His brother, Martins Dukurs, claimed silver with a two-run total of 1:56.12.
Alexander Tretiakov, aptly named the “Russian Rocket,” broke the start record in the first run and again in the second heat with a push time of 4.75 seconds. Tretiakov clocked a total time of 1:56.46 for third.
The host nation didn’t place a single competitor in the top six, which is unusual for the Germans. Frank Rommel was their best finisher in seventh.
Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) slid runs of 58.79 and 58.43 seconds to tie Dominic Parsons from Great Britain for 11th with a total time of 1:57.22.
Racing continues in Winterberg this afternoon with the men’s two-man bobsled race at 3 p.m. local time. The men’s skeleton athletes will compete next in St. Moritz, Switzerland, a track the Americans historically do well on, with double races on Jan. 10th and 12th.
“I’m really looking forward to next week,” Antoine said. “St. Moritz is definitely our track.”
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 1:54.93 (57.26, 57.67); 2. Tomass Dukurs (LAT) 1:56.12 (58.03, 58.09); 3. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:56.46 (58.11, 58.35);…4. Matt Antoine (USA) 1:56.51 (57.97, 58.54); 5. John Daly (USA) 1:56.56 (58.29, 58.27);…11. Kyle Tress (USA) 1:57.22 (58.79, 58.43);
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