- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

IGLS, Austria (AP) - Defending champion Martins Dukurs of Latvia held a commanding lead in the men’s skeleton world championship after the first two heats Thursday.

Eyeing his fourth career world title, Dukurs set a track record in his opening run and also posted the fastest time in the second to clock 1 minute, 44.64 seconds to lead Olympic champion Alexander Tretiakov of Russia by 0.53. Tretiakov was the fastest starter in both heats but couldn’t match Dukurs’ pace on the track.

Yun Sung-bin, who got South Korea’s first-ever skeleton World Cup win two weeks ago, was another 0.02 back in third.

Axel Jungk of Germany was the only other competitor to come within a second of Dukurs, trailing by 0.85 in fourth.

The final two heats are Friday.

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