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Martins Dukurs wants one more chance at missing Olympic gold

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Skeleton slider Martins Dukurs, one of the greatest Winter Olympians of all time without a gold medal, said he intends to compete another four years for another opportunity to fill his resumé, according to Latvian media.

It was thought that the Latvian, who turns 34 on Saturday, might retire after his fourth-place finish in PyeongChang following silver medals in 2010 and 2014.

In January, the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation reported that Dukurs and older brother Tomass Dukurs had retired from World Cup competition.

Now that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Dukurs, nicknamed “Superman,” won five world championships and eight straight World Cup season titles. At the last three Olympics, Dukurs saw a host-country slider take gold — Canadian Jon Montgomery in 2010, Russian Alexksandr Tretiyakov in 2014 and South Korean Yun Sungbin last month.

Tretiyakov’s gold medal was stripped on Nov. 22 as part of Russian athlete doping sanctions from the Sochi Games, making it appear likely that Dukurs would be elevated to gold. But then Tretiyakov and other Russians were reinstated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Feb. 1.

“The evidence collected was found to be insufficient to establish that an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was committed by the athletes concerned,” CAS said Feb. 1.

Latvia, apart from its time competing as part of the Soviet Union, has two Summer Olympic gold medalists (gymnast Igors Vihrovs and BMX rider Māris Štrombergs) but none from the Winter Games. Its eight Winter Olympic medals are the most by any nation without a gold.

Dukurs’ path to 2022 gold appears it must go through three men who are a decade younger than him — Yun, Olympic silver medalist Nikita Tregubov of Russia and Chinese up-and-comer Geng Wenqiang, who was 13th in PyeongChang but should have a big home-track boost in Beijing.

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MORE: Top skeleton moments from PyeongChang Olympics

Top skeleton moments from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

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From Yun Sung-Bin’s historic gold to Lizzy Yarnold’s repeat, the skeleton did not disappoint in PyeongChang. Here are the best moments from the 2018 Winter Games:

Yun Sung-Bin delivers for South Korea

In front of a raucous home crowd, Yun not only won the first Olympic medal for South Korea in a sliding event (luge, bobsled, skeleton), he won gold in dominant fashion.

Lizzy Yarnold makes history, too

Yarnold became the first woman to win two medals in skeleton, and both her medals are gold. She was down by 0.02 seconds heading into the final run, but set a course record to take gold again.

Click here to read the full story and watch the best skeleton highlights from the 2018 Winter Olympics

 

South Korean hopeful leads skeleton after two brilliant runs

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Yun Sung-Bin is in position to make history. After the first two runs of the men’s skeleton, not only is he situated to win South Korea’s first medal in a sliding sport (skeleton, bobsled, or luge), he could win gold. Yun is in first place after the first day of completion in his home country, a whopping 0.74 seconds ahead of second place. Yun was simply dominant.

Yun, 23, set the pace with a blistering first run, putting up a track record mark of 50.28 seconds. It was a sensational run for the athlete with the Ironman helmet.

NBCOlympics.com: It’s all in the art for skeleton helmets