Wyatt crowned European Champion

Wyatt crowned European Champion

Marcus Wyatt was crowned European Champion in the men’s skeleton on Friday morning and Matt Weston made it a British one-two in Sigulda.

Wyatt finished second in the World Cup race in Latvia and was the top European in the field as he ensured the continental title remained in British hands after Weston won in Altenberg 12 months ago.

The 32-year-old from Devon, who was third in the overall World Cup standings and fourth in the European Championships last season, claimed the first major title of his career as he clocked a combined time of 1 minute 41 seconds. Weston was 16 hundredths of a second back as both men maintained their first run positions.

Today’s European title comes just a week after Wyatt finished 31st in Lillehammer when he missed the cut for the second run after popping a spur at the start of Run 1.

Prior to last season, Great Britain had waited 15 years for a men’s champion but now we have two in as many seasons.

Wyatt becomes just the third British man after Weston and Kristan Bromley (2004, 2005 and 2008) to win the title, with Lizzy Yarnold (2015) and Shelley Rudman (2009 and 2011) having won the women’s event.

And today is just the second time two British men have shared a European Championship podium after Bromley and Adam Pengilly won gold and bronze in Cesana in 2008.

“I’m absolutely over the moon," said Wyatt. "To be able to call myself European Champion still hasn’t quite sunk in yet. It’s a dream come true. And to keep it in the British programme after Matt won last year is extra special.

“I had a really good week of training and I knew going into the race that I had a good chance of doing well but to go and execute and come away as European champion is amazing.

“Last week was an absolute shocker popping a spur and coming 31st for the worst result of my career. I might as well not have got out of bed last week, but I’m glad I did today!

There’s not much better than going from 31st one week to European Champion the next!

“I want to say a massive thanks to the whole team. All the staff have been really behind me and they’ve been working hard behind the scenes. So much thanks goes to the coaches and support staff because they were on it all week and the least I could do was turn up and slide well. I couldn’t do this without those guys or without Imi my fiancé and my family and friends back home. They are all super supportive and were right behind me after last week.”


Wyatt, Weston and Salisbury made the wider podium in Sigulda

GB had three sliders on the wider European Championship podium (top six) for the second season running as Jacob Salisbury placed fourth a year after Craig Thompson finished fifth. Salisbury set a personal best for the second week in a row as he came down in seventh in the World Cup having been 10th in Norway last time out. The former swimmer was in the mix for a first-ever World cup medal as he sat equal fourth after the first run in his debut season of top tier racing.

Thompson ensured GB had four sliders in the European Championships top ten as he placed ninth and World Cup 12th in a time of 1.42.08.

China’s Zheng Yin took the World Cup race win, finishing 0.18 seconds in front of Wyatt. Germany’s Felix Keisinger claimed European Championship bronze.

NB European Championship results are calculated once all non-European athletes have been removed from the final standings.