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Marcus Wyatt wins Britain's first men's skeleton World Cup medal in seven years

Pippa Field
·2-min read
Wyatt had never previously finished on the World Cup podium - AP
Wyatt had never previously finished on the World Cup podium - AP

Marcus Wyatt claimed Britain's first men's skeleton World Cup medal for seven years by finishing third in Sigulda on Friday.

The 28-year-old's bronze came following a strong second run which propelled him from sixth after his opening run to the final podium place behind Latvian home favourites Martins and Tomass Dukurs.

It bettered Wyatt's previous World Cup best of fourth in Igls from January this year and also marked Britain's best men's result in the competition since Dom Parsons claimed bronze in Calgary in November 2013. Parsons, now retired, subsequently went on to win an Olympic medal of the same colour in PyeongChang just short of three years later.

A former American football player, Wyatt was inspired to take up the sport after watching Lizzy Yarnold win the first of her two career Olympic gold medals at Sochi 2014. He took part in UK Sport's talent identification programme 'Power2Podium and made his World Cup debut in Dec 2017.

“I can’t stop saying how crazy it is - it’s something I’ve always dreamt of,” he said.

“I’m a bit speechless really. To be on the podium with the Dukurs brothers is pretty special. We’ve got a great group here and I can’t thank the team enough for helping me get to this point.

Wyatt moved up from sixth after his first run to finish on the podium - SHUTTERSTOCK
Wyatt moved up from sixth after his first run to finish on the podium - SHUTTERSTOCK

“I was pretty happy with Run 1 but I knew I could make improvements in Run 2, and I did that. I knew the second run was good as soon as I crossed the line but I didn’t know it was good enough to get a medal.

“It felt a bit like Igls last season when the people ahead of me kept dropping off and I stayed in the leader’s box for longer and longer. But I thought it would stop at fourth so to get a medal was amazing.

“The plan is to now to push on. This is a big step so now let’s go and chase a gold for the rest of the season.”

Wyatt, who finished ninth at the season opener at the same track last week, clocked a combined time of 1 minute 39.85 seconds to beat everyone bar the two home sliders. His team-mates Craig Thompson and Matt Weston were seventh and 12th respectively. 

In the women's event, Britain's Olympic bronze medallist Laura Deas finished fifth, with 2016 Youth Olympic champion Ashleigh Pittaway securing her best World Cup finish to date with eighth.

While Britain's bobsleigh programme was stripped of funding following a disappointing 2018 Winter Olympics, UK Sport continues to fund the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association's skeleton programme after it yielded three medallists at PyeongChang: Yarnold, Deas and Parsons.