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20 Feb, 2010 06:11

Russia claims first ever Olympic medal in skeleton

Russia’s Aleksandr Tretyakov has claimed the first ever Olympic medal in the skeleton for Russia at the Vancouver Olympics. After four runs he finished third behind Canadian Jon Montgomery and Latvian Martins Dukurs.

Dukurs, the current FIBT World Cup leader, was the overall leader at the Whistler Sliding Centre after three rounds and started last in the final one.


Aleksandr Tretyakov at the press-conference (RT photo/ Alla Skvortsova)
In his attempt, the Canadian ripped down the track in 52.36 seconds. His cumulative time of 3:29.73 seconds guaranteed him at least a silver medal.

Dukurs looked good through the start of his final run, but made a few mistakes in the second half. His time of 52.61 seconds gave him an overall time of 3:29.80 seconds, handing Montgomery the gold medal.

Russia's Aleksandr Tretyakov won the bronze with a final run of 52.70 seconds and an overall time of 3:30.75, and became the first Russian skeletonist at the Winter Olympics to claim a medal.

Montgomery's gold medal is also the best ever result by a Canadian skeleton athlete at the Olympics. Jeff Pain only managed silver for the country at the 2006 Turin Games.