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Antoine fourth in final men’s skeleton World Cup race, third in overall points
KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Jan. 25, 2014)- Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) established himself as one of the medal contenders for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games after finishing fourth in a competitive men’s skeleton World Cup finale today. Antoine capped his season ranked third in overall points.
“Matt has consistently been in the mix for the medals or on the podium every week,” said Tuffy Latour, U.S. skeleton head coach. “He’s really made a big turn around this season and we as a coaching staff couldn’t be prouder.”
Antoine spent last season recovering from knee surgery and stepped up his game as soon as he was back to maximum fitness. Antoine, who had just two career World Cup medals heading into the season, went on to win three medals this season, including a win on his home track in Lake Placid, N.Y.
“That Lake Placid victory put him in a place where he realized he could win medals,” Latour said. “Matt has had such a phenomenal season, and I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg of what he’s capable of doing.”
Antoine was in second position, between Latvian brothers Martins and Tomass Dukurs, after a first run time of 51.08 seconds. German Frank Rommel was on Antoine’s heels with a run of 51.15 seconds, making it a fierce battle for the medals in the final heat.
Rommel was the first of the four athletes to take his final descent, and he came down in record-breaking time of 50.58 seconds. Tomass Dukurs was next, and he reset the record with a run of 50.53 seconds. Antoine stood on the starting line and stared down the track before his final World Cup run of the season. Despite a solid run, he fell back to Tomass Dukurs and Rommel with a time of 50.81 seconds.
Martins Dukurs was the final athlete to take his run, and he obliterated the track record just set by his brother by an astounding 0.36 seconds. Martins Dukurs stopped the clock in 50.17 seconds for a combined time of 1:40.83 to claim not just today’s gold, but also the overall men’s skeleton title and the FIBT Triple Trophy. He is the World Cup leader with 1720 points.
Tomass Dukurs was second with a total time of 1:40.83 and second in rank with 1608 points. Rommel’s total time of 1:41.73 edged Antoine out of the medals by 0.16 seconds, but Antoine finished the season ranked ahead of Rommel in third with 1529 points.
John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) was in the running for a top six position, but he fell several spots after a mistake in the 360-degree Kreisel corner. Daly finished 12th with a two-run total of 1:43.32 and he finished the season ranked eighth with 1082 points. Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) had a long skid in the second run that bumped him down a few spots into 16th with a total time of 1:43.58. Tress rounded out his season ranked 12th in overall points.
“We are so proud of these athletes,” Latour said. “Today was John’s best finish on this track, and Kyle has gone from fighting to qualify three sleds to keep a position on the team to putting together some solid results. We’re now the number one nation, and it’s nice to see it all come together. The Protostar V5 sled and our technology program has helped set these guys up for success, and now it’s up to them to put down some good runs. We’re looking forward to Sochi.”
The final World Cup of the 2013-2014 season concludes tomorrow with the women’s bobsled and men’s four-man bobsled competitions. Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 1:40.83 (50.66, 50.17); 2. Tomass Dukurs (LAT) 1:41.65 (51.12, 50.53); 3. Frank Rommel (GER) 1:41.73 (51.15, 50.58); 4. Matt Antoine (USA) 1:41.89 (51.08, 50.81);…12. John Daly (USA) 1:43.32 (51.54, 51.78);…16. Kyle Tress (USA) 1:43.58 (51.81, 51.77);
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The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Century 21 Real Estate, CEVA Logistics, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, KBC Helmets, Eastern European Distribution Company, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, Inc., EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.