Canadian Mirela Rahneva wins first gold medal of the World Cup season in Latvia

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After a two-year drought, Canadian Mirela Rahneva is back on the top step of the Skeleton World Cup podium.

The two-time Olympian from Ottawa won gold at a competition in Sigulda, Latvia, on Friday, climbing the rankings with a fast second round.

Rahneva, 35, was third after the first run with a time of 51.75 seconds, but improved to 51.35 seconds in her second run.

This left the Canadian in bronze medal position with a total time of 1 minute 43.10 seconds with just two competitors remaining.

But neither silver medalist Kim Meylemans of Germany, whose second run was only eighth fastest, nor fellow German Hannah Neise, who finished with bronze 0.31 seconds behind Rahneva, were able to catch up with the Canadian.

The victory marks Rahneva’s first gold medal since January 2022 in Utah. It is also her second podium appearance of the year after taking bronze in the season opener in China. She ranks eighth in the overall World Cup standings.

Hallie Clarke of Belleville, Ont., was three-quarters of a second slower than Rahneva to place eighth, while Jane Channell of North Vancouver, B.C., was 17th.

Live coverage from Latvia continues Saturday at 3 a.m. ET with the women’s monobob event on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

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