Loelling wins 2nd skeleton World Cup to stretch overall lead

WINTERBERG, Germany (AP) Defending champion Jacqueline Loelling of Germany won her second skeleton World Cup of the season and extended her overall lead on Friday.

Loelling was fastest in both runs on her home track to beat Elisabeth Vathje of Canada by 0.24 seconds and the previously suspended Elena Nikitina of Russia by 0.25.

Nikitina, who was banned by the International Olympic Committee for involvement in Russia’s state-sponsored doping program at the 2014 Olympics, was initially suspended by the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation last month, but it subsequently said the IOC will need to provide more details about its doping-related findings before the suspension can be justified.

Loelling says of the U-turn, ”I’m being quite honest, I don’t think much about it at the race. You have to simply acknowledge the performance, there’s no proof (of wrongdoing) and I’m treating her normally in the meantime.”

After four of eight races, Loelling stretched her lead to 54 points ahead of Vathje and 72 ahead of German teammate Tina Hermann, who was fifth in Winterberg.

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