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Skeleton racer Yun Sung-bin rises to No. 1 ranking with Dukurs

Skeleton racer Yun Sung-bin rises to No. 1 ranking with Dukurs

Posted November. 25, 2017 08:34,   

Updated November. 25, 2017 09:10


Yun Sung-bin, who can now put on a “yellow vest” that signifies No. 1 in the sport of skeleton again in eight months, is now preparing for another win at the third leg of the 2017 BMW International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup to be held Sunday in Whistler, Canada.

In the latest game, the 23-year-old player clinched the gold medal with the combined time of 1 minute and 37.32 seconds, 0.63 seconds ahead of Martins Dukurs, putting himself right beside Dukurs at the world ranking both with leading 435 points. With the latest victory, Yun also brought himself a yellow vest, which was worn by Dukurs during the first and second legs of the World Cup. If multiple players are sharing the lead, a player who has won the most recent game customarily gets the vest. It was the 7th World Cup event of last season held in March 2017 that Yun last wore the symbol of glory.

Last season was also a ground for fierce fight for the one and only vest between the Korean player and Dukurs. Maintaining the top ranking from the first to the third games, Yun could appear in the yellow vest at the second to the fourth games. In the fourth and fifth games, however, he had to hand it over to his competitor. Yun was able to reclaim the vest with his win at the sixth game, but was finally defeated by Dukurs at the last two games.

Meanwhile, in the two-man bobsleigh event of the third World Cup Saturday, much attention is being paid to whether pilot Won Yun-jong and brakeman Seo Young-woo will signal their much-looked-for revival, overcoming rather weak performances at the previous two legs, which placed them at the 10th and 13th, respectively.

One pressing challenge for the two is to regain physical strength, which has been drastically hampered due to intense training at the Olympic Sliding Center in Pyeongchang continued since September in an effort to make use of the home advantage. Also, they should make a choice between a customized sled donated by Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company and the one the team has been using made by the Latvian sled maker BTC. The upcoming race may offer a glimpse of how the duo will handle the challenges.

Jae-Hyeng Kim monami@donga.com