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Dukurs wins his fourth straight skeleton World Cup overall title

Photo: /EPA

Martin Dukurs secured eight World Cup victories this season en route to the overall title.

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Martin Dukurs has won his fourth straight skeleton overall title with his eighth World Cup victory of the season.

The Latvian slider edged world champion Alexander Tretjakov by 0.17 seconds in the first heat on the Sochi Olympics track to claim his 25th career World Cup victory on Friday. Both Dukurs and Tretjakov, who beat the Latvian for the title at the skeleton worlds this month, timed 57.22 seconds in the second heat at the Sanki Sliding Center.

Dukurs won the final World Cup of the season with a combined time of 1 minute, 54.12 seconds. Frank Rommel of Germany was 1.40 seconds behind the winner for third.

With the victory, Dukurs earned a $135,000 bonus awarded by governing body FIBT for the athlete who takes the last three World Cup races of the season.

"The Triple Trophy was a great motivation but with the Russians being really strong on their home track, I was also under pressure," Dukurs said. "I'm really happy that I made it."

Dukurs scored 2,010 points to top the overall standings after nine events. He was followed by his brother Tomass Dukurs, who had 1,746 points for second, and Germany's Alexander Kroeckel with 1,636 for third.

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