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Latvia's Melbardis beats Germans Friedrich, Walther for 3rd straight 4-man bobsled World Cup


IGLS, Austria — Oskars Melbardis of Latvia won his third straight four-man bobsled World Cup race on Sunday to close in on his first overall title in the discipline.

The Olympic silver medalist and his teammates Daumants Dreiskens, Arvis Vilkaste and Janis Strenga set a track record of 50.83 seconds in the opening heat before overcoming heavy snowfall while defending their lead in the second run.

Melbardis beat Germans Francesco Friedrich by 0.13 and Nico Walther by 0.30. Friedrich had won Friday's two-man bobsled competition ahead of Melbardis.

After winning four of seven races this season, Melbardis holds a 200-point overall lead over Friedrich with one race remaining — in Sochi, Russia, next week. A win is worth 225 points.

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