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Grotheer earns first skeleton World Cup win with track records; Martineau eighth

Grotheer claims maiden skeleton WCup win with track records

ALTENBERG, Germany — Canada's Barrett Martineau slid to eighth place for his best career finish on a European track at the Skeleton World Cup on Saturday.

The 25-year-old former ski jumper from Calgary clocked a two-run time of one minute 54.08 seconds on the 1,413-metre highly technical track.

"I'm wearing a big smile today," said Martineau after matching his career best performance. He also has eighth place finishes on the World Cup in Park City, Utah, and Whistler, B.C. "Altenberg is one of the hardest tracks in the world, and it is one that I have had the least amount of runs and experience on so it's great to be able to come out of this race as the top North American on European grounds."

Martineau rebounded after a slow start in his first run, gaining speed down the track to put the eighth fastest down time. He cleaned up his second start, clocking the sixth-fastest time at 5.11, leading to a steady second trip down the 17-corner chute.

"The consistency is coming along. My mental game was strong today and my start continues to improve. All of this combined is making me a more competitive slider," added Martineau. "I think having access to train at Whistler back home gives me an edge to find some good lines down Altenberg which is deemed the hardest in the world."

Germany's Christopher Grotheer found the fast line to the top of the podium in the men's skeleton race, winning gold with a time of 1:52.30. Latvia's Martins Dukurs slid to the silver at 1:52.60, while Germany's Axel Jungk rounded out the men's podium with a time of 1:52.77.

World Cup rookie, Kevin Boyer, slid to 19th place. The Calgarian posted a two-run time of 1:56.05. Dave Greszczyszyn, from Brampton, Ont., did not qualify for the second heat after finishing 23rd in his opening run.

The Canadian Press