Nadezhda Sergeeva triumphed in the two-woman event ©IBSF

Russia’s Nadezhda Sergeeva and Elena Mamedova were crowned two-woman bobsleigh European champions after triumphing at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup in Sigulda.

The duo emerged as surprise winners of the event, which acted as a dual European Championships and final World Cup race.

Sergeeva had headed into the competition with a highest finish of fifth place during this season’s World Cup.

The Russians enjoyed a stunning start to the competition by posting a track-record time of 50.99 seconds at the Latvian venue.

The time was 0.03 seconds ahead of Andreea Grecu and Ioana Gheorghe of Romania, as well as Germany’s Mariama Jamanka and Nolte Erline.

Sergeeva and Mamedova backed up their opening run of the event by clocking 50.97 in their second effort.

Their combined time of 1min 41.96sec proved enough to clinch victory.

It marked a return to the European Championships podium for Sergeeva, who won a silver medal at the 2017 event.

Sergeeva was handed an eight-month ban from the sport after testing positive for the banned substance trimetazidine during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

The IBSF had initially sought a four-year sanction before reducing their demand after accepting Sergeeva's contaminated product explanation.

Her ban concluded in October 2018.

Grecu and Gheorghe finished as the silver medallists after finishing just 0.02 seconds behind the winners - clocking 50.96 on their second run for a new track record.

Germany’s Stephanie Schneider and Lisette Thoene rounded off the podium places in 1:42.03, with Jamanka and Erline ending off the podium on 1:42.18.

Nadezhda Sergeeva earned her first-ever World Cup win as well as a maiden European title ©Getty Images
Nadezhda Sergeeva earned her first-ever World Cup win as well as a maiden European title ©Getty Images

The bronze medal would prove key for Schneider as her sixth podium finish of the season saw her take the overall World Cup title on 1,611 points.

Jamanka finished second on 1,573, with Canada’s Christine de Bruin placing third on 1,514.

Kaillie Humphries, who switched nationality from Canada to the United States prior to the season, had led the World Cup heading into the final event.

Humphries opted not to compete at the final World Cup to prioritise preparations for the World Championships.

She ultimately finished the World Cup season in fourth place.

Attention will turn to the men’s skeleton competition early on Saturday (February 15), with home favourite Martins Dukurs aiming to defend his European title.

Two-man bobsleigh competition will round off the second day of the World Cup in Sigulda, with the first of back-to-back races taking place.