IGLS, Austria (AP) — Junior world skeleton champion Elena Nikitina of Russia won a women's World Cup which also counted as the European skeleton title on Friday.

It was the 20-year-old Nikitina's first victory in only her third start on the World Cup.

Nikitina, who won the junior world title on the same track in December, led after the first heat before finishing in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 50.46 seconds.

Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States was 0.27 back in second, and Maria Orlova of Russia trailed Nikitina by 0.60 in third for her first career World Cup podium.

A men's race on the Olympic track in Igls is scheduled for Saturday, the final event before the world skeleton championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, starting on Monday.

 

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