UK & World News
Yarnold Wins First GB Gold At Sochi Olympics
Lizzy Yarnold has won Britain's first gold of the Winter Olympics in Sochi after victory in the women's skeleton event.
It is the second successive triumph for a Briton in the competition after Amy Williams' achievement in Vancouver in 2010.
And it means Team GB has won skeleton medals at every Games since the event was introduced to the Olympic programme in 2002 in Salt Lake City.
Yarnold, from Kent, had a lead of almost half a second over her nearest rival following the first two runs on Thursday and this made her favourite going into day two in Russia.
The 25-year-old athlete smashed the track record in her third run to move over three quarters of a second clear of American Noelle Pikus-Pace.
Yarnold clocked 58.09 seconds on her fourth and final run to win by 0.97secs from Pikus-Pace with a combined time of three minutes 52.89secs.
She celebrated after her gold-clinching final run by running towards the British fans in the crowd holding up the Union Jack and beaming with joy.
In a TV interview, she also thanked supporters back home and said she "could not have done it without you all".
She added people should follow their dreams, never give up and never limit themselves to what they can achieve.
Yarnold has dominated the World Cup season, winning the overall title with four victories and three more podium finishes from the season's eight races.
Yarnold, who rides on a sled nicknamed Mervyn after one of her supporters, can reach speeds of around 80mph.
Her parents Clive and Judith, her two sisters Katie and Charlotte, and her boyfriend James Roche, who is a sled technician with the British bobsleigh team, were present to witness her triumph.
Compatriot Shelley Rudman, who scooped silver in 2006, finished in 16th place this time with a combined time of 3:56.47.
Britain's Alex Coomber picked up a bronze at the Olympics in 2002.
Yarnold was a promising heptathlete as a teenager.
Aged 19, she took part in the 'Girls4Gold' talent identification programme in the hope she would be diverted into Great Britain's modern pentathlon programme.
Instead, she was sent to skeleton, whose programme had increased since Rudman won the silver medal at the Turin Olympics two years previously.
Yarnold immediately took to her new sport, and within four years of getting on a sled for the first time, she was crowned junior world champion in Innsbruck in 2012.
Her Olympic victory is 30 years to the day since ice skaters Torvill and Dean scooped gold for Britain in Sarajevo.
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