Russia’s Elena Nikitina wins World Cup skeleton in Park City

November 18, 2017

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Russia’s Elena Nikitina won a World Cup skeleton race Saturday while her Olympic bronze medal remains under scrutiny as part of the investigation into state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Games.

She erased a slight deficit in her second run to finish in 1 minute, 40.49 seconds. Germans took the next two spots — Tina Hermann in 1:40.51 and Jacqueline Loelling in 1:40.73.

Katie Uhlaender was the top American, finishing seventh, and reigning Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold of Britain was eighth.

The International Olympic Committee will decide on Dec. 5 if Russia can compete at the upcoming Pyeongchang Games. Nikitina’s result from Sochi might also be vacated if a separate IOC panel determines she was guilty of doping then.

In the men’s race, Yun Sungbin of South Korea convincingly beat Latvia’s Martins Dukurs for the gold — as the two reversed their finishes from the season-opener in Lake Placid, New York, last weekend. Yun had the fastest start in both heats and finished in 1:37.32, while Dukurs completed his two runs in 1:37.95 and was denied what would have been his 50th World Cup victory.

Axel Jungk of Germany was third in 1:38.07.

For the second straight weekend, the U.S. men struggled — on home ice, no less. Just like in Lake Placid, no American was close to the podium as Matt Antoine finished 12th, Greg West tied for 16th and John Daly took 18th.

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