Winter sports roundup

  • 2012-01-18
  • By Jared Grellet

Martins Dukurs keeps his chin to the grindstone.

RIGA - Martins Dukurs’ winning streak has come to a sudden halt in Germany, whilst Estonia prepares itself to host the next leg of the cross-country skiing World Cup.

FIBT Skeleton World Cup, Round 5, Konigssee, Germany
Martins Dukurs came into the weekend looking to improve his World Cup winning streak to nine consecutive victories, but after unexpectedly only clocking the second-quickest time on his first run, behind German Frank Rommel, the 27-year-old then botched his second run as he tried to make up for lost time, seeing him only set the 15th quickest time and drop back to sixth overall, 1.14 seconds behind Romel.
The news was not much better for older brother Tomass, who also experienced an off-day, finishing tied for seventh with the exact same time as Great Britain’s Adam Pengilly.
Despite the less than memorable weekend, Martins remains 73 points clear of Rommel in the ranking for overall champion, whilst Tomass is fourth overall, 14 points behind Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov.
In the women’s event Liene Priedulena would painstakingly finish 0.1 of a second behind 19th placed Anne O’Shea of USA on her first run, meaning the up-and-coming slider would fail to qualify for a second run.

FIBT Bob World Cup, Round 5, Konigssee, Germany
In the 2-man bobsled Latvia had three teams, with Oskars Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens leading the way in Latvia 1, finishing ninth overall, 0.72 seconds behind winners Switzerland 1.
Melbardis is currently ranked fourth overall in the pilot standings, just 13 points behind third-placed Thomas Florschuetz of Germany.
Piloting Latvia 2, Edgars Maskalans would finish 17th overall with the 29-year-old setting the 18th quickest time on his first run and 16th fastest on his second.
Ugis Zalims and Raivis Zirups in Latvia 3 would fail to qualify for a second run, setting the 21st quickest time with only the top-20 pilots qualifying to race again.

A day later in the 4-man bobsled Latvia finished just off the podium for a second consecutive week, but this time it was Melbardis leading the Latvian charge ahead of Maskalans.
Sitting second after the first run, Latvia 2 was slow to get all four people into the bobsled at the beginning of their second run, effectively costing them their place on the podium. They would finish 0.21 seconds behind the winners, Russia 1.
In Latvia 1 Maskalans was again struggling to find any consistency, failing to convert his form from a day previous in the 2-man event over to the 4-man event, only finishing in 11th position.
Melbardis and Maskalans currently sit sixth and seventh overall in the pilot rankings.
The skeleton and bobsled world cups continue this weekend in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Viessmann Luge World Cup, Round 5, Oberhof, Germany
Ivars Kivlenieks once again edged the top-ten in the men’s luge, with the Latvian coming home in 11th position, trailing Germany’s Felix Loch by 0.693 seconds.
Latvia’s second luger in the men’s race, Kristaps Maurins, would finish 28th, 1.640 seconds behind Loch.
In the women’s race Latvia was represented by both of the Tiruma sisters, Eliza and Maija. Eliza would finish just ahead of older sister Maija in 12th overall, 1.535 seconds behind winner Natalie Geisenberger of Germany. Maija finished milliseconds behind her sister in 13th place after improving from 16th overall at the end of her first run.

In the doubles Andris and Juris Sics were back racing after sitting out the three previous meets. The former Olympic medalists would finish 13th, 1.562 seconds behind Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken.
Oskars Gudramovics and Peteris Kalnins were the last home to successfully navigate the track, finishing 19th.
In the team relay the Sics brothers teamed up with Kivlenieks and Eliza Tiruma to finish seventh, 2.469 seconds down on the victorious Germans. The lugers remain in Germany, relocating to Winterberg for this weekend’s racing.

FIS World Cup, Round 6, Milan, Italy
A week out from hosting the seventh round of the cross-country World Cup, Estonia only sent five skiers to Milan to sprint through the streets of the city, whilst Latvia and Lithuania would opt to send no skiers.
With no females making the trip, five Estonians would compete in the men’s sprint. Peeter Kummel was the first of the five home, finishing 25th in the 68-skier field, whilst coming home in 33rd Timo Simonlatser would be the only other Estonian to finish in the top-50.
In the team sprint Simonlatser and Kummel would make up Estonia I, which failed to make it past the semifinal, finishing 18th overall whilst Estonia II, consisting of Raido Rankel and Anti Saarepuu, finished 21st out of the 24 teams.
Estonia now takes their turn to host the Cup in Otepaa in the south-east of the country the venue for round seven of the 15-round season. Skiers will compete over the sprint distance with ladies also contesting a 10 km race, and the men a 15 km race.

E.ON IBU Biathlon World Cup, Round 5, Nove Mesto, Slovakia
After a forgettable week to begin the year, Baltic biathletes posted some more positive results in the second event of the New Year. Estonia’s Kadri Lehtla led the charge in the women’s 15 km individual, missing two targets to finish 24th overall, four minutes and 11.4 seconds behind Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen. Her fellow countrywoman Kristel Viigipuu also missed two targets on her way to finishing 40th, whilst Lithuania’s Diana Rasimoviciute would sneak into the top 50 in 50th position after missing four targets.

In the men’s 20 km individual Roland Lessing and Indrek Tobreluts were in sight of each other for the majority of the race, finishing 29th and 31st, respectively. Lessing came home four minutes and 0.5 seconds behind Andrei Makoveev of Russia, and Tobreluts four minutes and 23.2 seconds.

In the women’s 7.5 km sprint Rasimoviciute was the only Baltic skier to make it into the top 50, finishing 47th with five misses, three minutes and 13.6 seconds behind Olga Zaitseva of Russia.

In the men’s 10 km sprint Kauri Koiv was the first Baltic skier to cross the finish line, one minute and 24.6 seconds behind Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway, which was good enough for 22nd place. Eight places further back was Tobreluts.

In the women’s 10 km pursuit Rasimoviciute finished in 47th, five minutes and 32.2 seconds behind Tora Berger of Germany.

In the men’s 15 km pursuit Tobreluts and Koiv came home near the rear of the 55-skier field in 38th and 49th positions, respectively.

It was a particularly forgettable race for Koiv, who missed seven targets to finish nearly five minutes behind Anton Shipulin of Russia.

This week racing moves to Antholz-Anterselva in Italy.