Melbardis, Dreiskens lead standings after World Cup win

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) Victory for Latvia's Oskars Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens in the two-man bobsled World Cup on Saturday lifted them atop the overall standings.

Latvia also placed Ugis Zalims and Intars Dambis as joint runners-up after setting a track record of 1 minute, 5.88 seconds on their second run down the Olympia course.

In the women's event, Anja Schneiderheinze and Annika Drazek of Germany won to close the gap on overall standings leaders Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauryn Williams. The United States crew placed fourth on Saturday.

Melbardis and Dreiskens were fastest in the first run, and finished 0.17 seconds ahead of their teammates and Swiss pair Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann.

Melbardis and Dreiskens also edged two points ahead of Olympic silver medalists Hefti and Baumann in the standings. The score is 1,054-1,052 with three races left.

World champion Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis of Germany are third overall, after placing fourth on Saturday.

United States crew Steven Holcomb and Carlo Valdes placed sixth.

German bobs finished 1-2 in the women's event, with Schneiderheinze piloting 0.31 seconds faster than teammates Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer.

Third-place American crew Jamie Greubel Poser and Cherrelle Garrett trailed 0.57 behind Schneiderheinze's combined time of 2:15.29.

Meyers Taylor and Williams, the Olympic silver medalists, have finished off the podium in two races since winning three straight to start the season, though Schneiderheinze still trails by 48 points.

The World Cup circuit moves next week to La Plagne, France, and ends Feb. 14 on Russia's Olympic track at Sochi.

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