SPORTS

Canadian Elisabeth Vathje second in women's World Cup skeleton event

02/07/2015 12:53 EST | Updated 04/09/2015 05:59 EDT
IGLS, Austria - Silver is quickly becoming Calgary's Elisabeth Vathje's favourite colour this season.

The Canadian finished second in a women's world Cup skeleton race Saturday, her fourth podium finish and third silver. Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold of Britain overcame a poor start to her first run to win the competition, finishing 0.18 seconds ahead of Vathje.

"Silver is my new favourite colour I guess," Vathje said with a chuckle. "I'm pretty excited.

"I had two personal best pushes on both runs. It was such a close race and I just kind of let it go and let the sled do its job again."

Austrian Janine Flock was third.

Yarnold lost pace in her first run when her sled steered out of the groove before entering the track yet still finished the heat fourth, 0.11 behind leader Flock. Yarnold posted the fastest second-run time to claim victory.

"I was actually quite tired going into the second run," Yarnold said. "Because this is our fifth week consecutively we are competing, so it's a bit of an endurance race."

Jane Channell of North Vancouver, B.C., was seventh with a two-run time of 1:50.09. Calgary's Lanette Prediger finished ninth in 1:50.55.

The world's top women will compete again Sunday to make up for one cancelled earlier in La Plagne, France. But Vathje won't participate because she withdrew from the event before it was cancelled due to poor track conditions.

"It is incredibly frustrating they will not let me compete especially because they cancelled that race last weekend for the same reason I withdrew in the first place," said Vathje. "I'm not in the running for the overall, and it is honestly devastating they (officials) will not let me start."

With two World Cup events remaining, Flock took the overall lead by one point ahead of Germany's Tina Hermann. Yarnold is 68 points back in third.

Martins Dukurs of Latvia won his sixth men's event to clinch the overall title with a race to spare.

Dukurs, who won the European crown last week, posted the fastest time in both runs. His 37th career win stretched his lead in the overall standings to 226 points over his older brother Tomass, with one event remaining in Sochi, Russia, next week. A win is worth 225 points.

"This is a great time to be here, to take part in this competition because you see what's happening here," Dukurs said, pointing at a group of cheering Latvian fans. "That gives extra motivation and emotions."

Dukurs beat Russians Alexander Tretiakov by 0.45 seconds and Nikita Tregybov by 0.74 with the rest of the field more than 1.25 off the lead. Tomass Dukurs finished 1.51 behind in eighth.

Tretiakov remained the only athlete to beat the Latvian this season by winning in Koenigssee, Germany, in January.

Dave Greszczyszyn, of Brampton, Ont., was the top Canadian, finishing 12th in 1:47.19. Calgary's Barrett Martineau was 17th at 1:47.85 while Evan Neufeldt, also of Calgary, was 21st in 1:48.47.

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With files from The Associated Press.

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