Lonnie Bissonnette clinched bobsleigh seated class gold for the hosts ©IBSF

Lonnie Bissonnette delivered success for hosts Canada in the opening International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) Para World Cup of the season in Calgary.

The 50-year-old, a well-known extreme sports athlete, had impressed during training for the event on Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park track where he had set the second fastest times in the Para-bobsleigh seated class, ahead of the competition.

He stormed to the top of the leaderboard as the official event began by posting a first run time of 59.65sec and the home favourite sealed victory by clocking 59.92 in his second time down the track, posting a combined total of 1min 59.57sec.

An American battle for the silver medal saw Aaron Lanningham overhaul his team-mate Jason Sturm, after his impressive second run time of 48.71 elevated him up the standings.

Lanningham finished the competition with an overall time of 2:00.81, while Sturm settled for bronze after completing his two runs in 2:01.25.

Australia’s Mark Urquhart narrowly missed out on a first World Cup podium finish, ending in fourth place with a time of 2:01.75.

Britain's Matthew Richardson earned the first skeleton gold of the season
Britain's Matthew Richardson earned the first skeleton gold of the season ©IBSF

Meanwhile, in the Para-skeleton event, Britain’s Matthew Richardson proved a class above his rivals after producing the fastest two runs of the competition.

Richardson’s first run time of 1:02.81 proved to be the quickest of the day and put him on his way to winning the opening World Cup event for the second consecutive year, as he ended on a combined time of 2:05.84.

The Briton finished nearly three seconds clear of last year’s overall World Cup champion Eric Eierdam, with the American ending in 2:08.63.

Canada’s Kelsey Rice completed the podium by finishing in a time of 2:11.37.

It comes at the beginning of a key season for the sport as it strives to be added to the 2022 Winter Paralympics programme in Beijing. 

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