A four-way battle for the overall men's singles International Luge Federation World Cup title will come to an end this weekend when Sochi hosts the final event of the campaign.
The competition at the Sanki Sliding Centre, which hosted the sport at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, begins tomorrow and concludes on Sunday (February 24).
Ukrainian athletes will be absent from the event as the country is boycotting the World Cup final amid strained relations with Russia.
The race for the men's crown will dominate the weekend as the overall titles in the women's singles and men's doubles have been all-but decided.
The top four on the men's singles standings are separated by just 18 points.
Johannes Ludwig of Germany leads the way with 598 points going into the last men's singles of the season, due to be held on Sunday.
Excitement in the men’s event: Over half a dozen athletes in the running for the overall victory. Natalie Geisenberger and Eggert/Benecken within reach of World Cup #FILuge https://t.co/2Db76diso9 pic.twitter.com/1AvaB8wbWp— FIL Luge (@FIL_Luge) February 20, 2019
Russian Semen Pavlichenko is 10 points adrift in second, while defending champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist Felix Loch is still in contention in third.
Loch has 583 points, five behind the Russian and 15 shy of his compatriot, while Reinhard Egger of Austria is fourth on 580.
Germany's Natalie Geisenberger, who retained her European title at the last World Cup event in Oberhof, is set to clinch her seventh straight overall women's title.
Geisenberger, the reigning Olympic champion, has 882 points and is 176 in front of compatriot Julia Taubitz.
A German clean sweep for the second straight World Cup season is possible as defending champions Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken are poised to retain their doubles crown.
The event begins tomorrow with the women's singles and men's doubles races.