Mirela Rahneva wraps up 'exciting' rookie season, finishes 3rd overall in World Cup skeleton

Ottawa's Mirela Rahneva capped off an impressive rookie season that saw her finish third overall on the skeleton World Cup circuit with a fifth-place finish on the 2018 Olympic track in Pyeonchang, South Korea on Friday.

The 28-year-old posted the fifth-fastest times in each of her two runs for a combined total of one minute 46.20 seconds. 

"Today was difficult. It has certainly been a long season and a lot to take in, but I am happy with the work I put in and the results," said Rahneva.

"The track is quite interesting. It combines different driving styles, from a glider kind of driving to a really aggressive driver kind of driving. The push plays a big part here of course."

In her first World Cup season, Rahneva amassed one gold, one silver and two bronze medals to secure her third-place overall ranking. 

"I can't believe I ended up third overall. It's very exciting, but I also am looking for more next year," added Rahneva. "I have a ton more work to get to where I'd like to be, but that's what summer is for."

Vathje makes costly mistake

Rahneva's teammate, Elisabeth Vathje, was looking to add to her two victories this year at the season finale. The 22-year-old Calgarian was in second spot after her first run down the 1,376-metre track, but a costly mistake in her second run dropped her to sixth place in the race. She finished in fifth place in the standings.

North Vancouver's Jane Channell finished 13th with a two-run time of 1:46.92 and 11th overall.

Germany's Jacqueline Loelling won the event with a time of 1:45.68 and also finished at the top of the overall standings with 1,591 points. Tina Hermann, also from Germany claimed the second spot overall with 1,493 points, while Rahneva's total was 1,475.

On the men's side, Brampton's Dave Greszczyszyn was the top Canadian in 12th place with a total time of 1:42.82. He ends the season 17th in the overall standings

Meanwhile, Calgary's Barrett Martineau was sitting in seventh after his first run, but he plummeted down the standings after a challenging second run to finishe 19th at 1:43.54 and 12th overall. 

The final World Cup of the season continues on Saturday in Pyeongchang with the men's and women's two-man bobsleigh events.