Elisabeth Vathje Photo: Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Photo: Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Vathje wins skeleton opener on home ice in Whistler

Elisabeth Vathje took home the first skeleton World Cup medal of the season, winning gold in the women’s event in Whistler.

The Canadian opened the competition with a commanding lead, registering the fastest opening run in a time 54.52 seconds. Vathje’s impressive run made her the one to chase heading into the final round.

Related: Skeleton rookie Vathje slides to world championships bronze

With a competitive field including the German defending world champion Tina Herrman, anything could happen in the final run. However, the Canadian’s impressive second start of 4.95s – the fastest of any medal contender – gave her an early lead, which allowed her cross the line in 54.74s. Vathje’s gold medal and a combined time of 1:49s came after she clocked the two fastest runs in the competition.

Related: Vathje wins first skeleton gold at home

Germans Jacqueline Loelling and Hermann finished second (+0.84) and third (0.86) respectively. Canada’s Mirela Rahneva made her first world cup appearance one to remember, with a fifth place finish and a combined time of 1:50.58s.

Related: International competitions coming to Canada this winter

Next up, on the ice track is the two-man bobsleigh, before the IBSF World Cup action resume on Saturday. Fans can watch the competition at the Whistler Sliding Centre, or live stream the event on cbcsport.ca.