Russian wins World Cup skeleton opener in Latvia

Russian wins World Cup skeleton opener in Latvia
From left, Martins Dukurs of Latvia, second place, Nikita Tregubov of Russia, first place, and Sungbin Yun of South Korea, third place, celebrates on the podium after their race of the men's skeleton World Cup race in Sigulda, Latvia, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)

SIGULDA, Latvia (AP) — Olympic silver medalist Nikita Tregubov of Russia won the opening World Cup men’s skeleton race of the season Saturday, denying veteran Martins Dukurs of Latvia a win on his home track.

Tregubov overcame slower starts than Dukurs to finish two runs in 1 minute, 41.87 seconds. Dukurs was 0.37 seconds back and Olympic champion Yun Sungbin of South Korea was third, another 0.16 seconds behind Dukurs.

The U.S. had three sleds in the race and struggled, with Nathan Crumpton leading the American contingent to a 14th-place finish. Crumpton was 2.8 seconds behind Tregubov.

Women’s skeleton has its debut race of the season in Sigulda on Sunday.