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

After two years of drought, Canadian Mirela Rahneva is back at the top of the World Cup podium.

The two-time Olympian from Ottawa captured gold in a competition in Sigulda, Latvia, on Friday, jumping up the standings with a quick second round.

Rahneva (35 years old) ranked third after the first round with a time of 51.75 seconds, but improved to 51.35 seconds in her second round.

That left the Canadian sitting in bronze medal position with an overall time of 1 minute, 43.10 seconds and only two competitors remaining.

But neither Germany’s Kim Millemans, the silver medalist, whose run was eighth fastest in second place, nor her German teammate Hanna Ness, who ended up taking the bronze medal 0.31 seconds behind Raneva, were able to catch the Canadian.

This win marks Raniva’s first gold medal since January 2022 in Utah. It is also her second podium appearance this year after taking bronze at the season opener in China. To move to eighth place in the overall World Cup standings.

Haley Clarke of Belleville, Ont., was three-quarters of a second slower than Rahneva to finish eighth, while Jane Channell of North Vancouver, British Columbia, finished 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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