Tomass Dukurs, centre, narrowly beat his brother Martins Dukurs, left, to win a first IBSF World Cup event for 18 years ©IBSF/Viesturs Lacis

Home favourite Tomass Dukurs won his first International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup event for 18 years in Sigulda as he triumphed in the men's skeleton.

The 40-year-old's only previous World Cup victory also came in the Latvian resort in February 2004, and runs of 50.67sec and 50.69 helped him to finish with a time of 1min 41.36sec.

He beat his brother Martins Dukurs by just 0.06sec.

The two-time Olympic silver medallist and defending World Cup champion was on course for victory with a time of 50.31 on his first run, but slipped to the silver-medal position after a disappointing 51.11 on his second.

Jung Seung-gi of South Korea finished on an IBSF World Cup podium for the first time as 1:41.73 saw him place third, beating Russia's junior world champion Evgenij Rukosuev by just 0.01sec.

World Cup leader Christopher Grotheer of Germany missed out on the podium for the first time this season as his advantage at the top was cut to just 22 points by Martins Dukurs - they have 1,195 and 1,173 points, respectively.

Another German athlete in Axel Jungk completes the top three on 1,149 after finishing 12th in Sigulda.

Last year's women's skeleton champion Janine Flock of Austria clinched her first victory of this season's IBSF World Cup circuit earlier in the day.

Austria's Janine Flock won her first World Cup race of the season at the sixth attempt ©IBSF/Viesturs Lacis
Austria's Janine Flock won her first World Cup race of the season at the sixth attempt ©IBSF/Viesturs Lacis

Flock's first run of 52.15sec was the quickest of the field, and while her second of 52.49 was only the fifth best, the Austrian's total time of 1min 44.64sec clinched a first victory of the season in the sixth IBSF World Cup event.

Flock had only finished on the podium once in the first five competitions, but now sits second in the overall standings on 1,129 points.

Russia's Yulia Kanakina was 0.17sec behind Flock, but still earned her best World Cup finish of second via runs of 52.46 and 52.35.

The Netherlands' Kimberley Bos stayed top of the World Cup standings as she recovered from a 52.71 on the first run to clock the best time on the second, 52.27, finishing in third place at the Latvian venue.

Bos has 1,165 points for the season.

World champion Tina Hermann of Germany is third overall, but had to settle for sixth place in Sigulda today.

Bobsleigh events scheduled for tomorrow and Sunday (January 2).

A COVID-19 outbreak has affected the Canadian bobsleigh team prior to competition, with CBC reporting that there have been 11 confirmed cases among athletes and three among the staff.