IGLS, Austria — Latvian Martins Dukurs won the final round of the 09/10 FIBT skeleton World Championships to seal his place as overall champion.
Going into the final round Saturday, Martins just had to avoid trouble and complete both his runs to all but assure himself of the World Cup Crown. Not just content on claiming the crown, he went out and did it in style, setting the fastest time on both runs. His closest rival in the rankings, German Frank Rommel, did all he could to pull the Latvian back but had to be content with second place on the weekend and overall rankings, finishing the campaign with 1466 points, 228 points behind Martins.
It was not only Martins who was celebrating but also younger brother Tomass who put in a strong performance to finish fourth on the weekend, which also saw him move up to fourth in the overall standings, beating Canadian Jon Montgomery by a mere seven points. Considering that Tomass finished on 1352 points and Montgomery 1345 perhaps gives the closeness of the finish a better perspective. Tomass’ fourth place on the weekend was not enough to see him push for a season finale place in the top three with German Sandro Stielicke putting an average weekend behind him to hold onto his podium finish for the season.
The next time we will see the skeletons on the ice will be at Vancouver 2010, an event which is quickly approaching. Given his dominating performance this season Martins Dukurs without doubt goes the Winter Olympics as the strongest medal hope for the Baltics.