Before Friday’s World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria, no World Cup men’s skeleton race ended in a three-way tie in the first 45 years of the competition. That changed Friday when Great Britain’s Matt Weston, China’s Geng Wenqiang and Germany’s Christopher Grotheer all recorded two-run times of 1:46.04 to earn a historic joint gold.
Weston’s win marked Great Britain’s first since Kristian Bromley in 2008, and Geng’s was the first in Chinese history. The two were separated by a mere hundredth of a second heading into the second run, making the event a thriller from start to finish.
“It’s the best feeling,” Weston said, per the AP.
The win was meaningful for Grotheer, who’s won the last two world championships, as well. The German now ranks first in the IBSF standings, a resounding 48 points above Russian Alexander Tretiakov, who won Olympic gold in 2014 and finished ninth in Innsbruck.
Americans Austin Florian and John Daly finished 20th and 27th, respectively, but they didn’t race under the easiest circumstances. The Olympic hopefuls tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week and didn’t know whether they’d be allowed to compete. Florian got clearance a day before the race while Daly got his 20 minutes before race time.
“It’s been a really stressful week,” USA skeleton coach Tuffy Latour said. “We didn’t know if it had spread to anyone else on the team, and if or when Austin and John would be able to race. Austin was able to get one day of training, and John didn’t have any days of training this week. I’m glad they were able to race today, and that we’re able to move forward after a really hard week.”