Elena Nikitina brings Russia historic gold at European Skeleton Champs

Elena Nikitina brings Russia historic gold at European Skeleton Champs
Russia’s Elena Nikitina has claimed the European Skeleton Championship and also a World Cup stop in Igls, Austria. She becomes the first Russian to win an official international event in the sport’s history.

The 20 year old, who had earned just two appearances in the World Cup before Friday’s victory, beat American Noelle Pikus-Pace and another Russian Maria Orlova.

Home favorite Janine Flock finished fourth and consequently took the bronze medal in the European Championships standings.

Nikitina dominated on the same track on New Year’s Eve winning the World Junior Championships. 

She has become the first Russian to win the European Chamionship. While World Championship gold has been unreachable for the Russians Nikitina’s compatriots Olga Potylitsyna and Aleksandr Tretyakov have previously won World Cup events.