Elena Nikitina, centre, celebrates her record-breaking win at the IBSF World Cup in La Plagne ©IBSF

Russia’s Elena Nikitina broke one of the longest-standing track records in skeleton to win the women’s event at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) in French resort La Plagne today.

The 27-year-old clocked a second-run time of 1min 1.35sec, almost 1.5 seconds faster than the old record set by Great Britain’s Alex Coomber in December 2000.

It meant the overall defending champion finished on an overall time of 2:02.72, beating European champion Janine Flock of Austria by 0.65 seconds to earn an eighth IBSF World Cup win.

Germany’s Jacqueline Lölling, the Olympic and world silver medallist, finished 0.86 seconds back in third place.

Nikitina, stripped of her Olympic bronze medal from Sochi 2014 for doping before it was reinstated on appeal, also managed to improve on La Plagne’s starting record set by Switzerland’s Marina Gilardoni in December 2012.

The Russian managed to shave more than 0.3 seconds off the time, which now stands at exactly six seconds.

Lölling holds a narrow lead in the overall standings at the midway point of the season.

She currently has 827 points, leaving her ahead of Flock and Nikitina on 820 and 794, respectively.

In the men’s event, overall defending champion Alexander Tretiakov of Russia celebrated his second win of the season in 1:58.90.

Finishing his first run in 59.28, the Sochi 2014 Olympic champion, who kept his gold medal after a successful appeal against a doping ban, was half-a-second faster than the previous track record in La Plagne, set by Latvia’s Martins Dukurs in January 2015.

Dukurs, an eight-time overall IBSF World Cup winner, finished 0.37 seconds behind in the runners-up spot today, helping him move into the lead in the overall standings.

China's Geng Wenqiang and South Korea’s Yun Sungbin, the reigning Olympic champion, finished in joint third place, 1.39 seconds back.

Dukurs has a narrow lead in the overall standings.

He has 822 points to nearest challenger Tretiakov’s tally of 818.

Having previously led, Germany's Axel Jungk has slipped to third place with 801 points after coming fifth in La Plagne.

Action is due to continue tomorrow, with the two-man and two-woman bobsleigh events.