PyeongChang Update: Britain's Greatest Winter Olympic Day
PyeongChang 2018

PyeongChang Update: Britain's Greatest Winter Olympic Day

17 February 2018 / 17:16

Medals for Lizzy Yarnold, Laura Deas and Izzy Atkin ensured Team GB enjoyed their most successful ever day at an Olympic Winter Games.

• Yarnold retains her skeleton title to become the most successful ever British Winter Olympian

• Deas joins her on the podium with bronze 

• Izzy Atkin wins Team GB's second medal in PyeongChang with bronze in the women's ski slopetyle - Team GB's first ever Olympic skiing medal

• Fellow freestyle skier Lloyd Wallace finishes 20th in men's aerials qualification 

• Elise Christie and Charlotte Gilmartin both fall at the semi-final stage of the short track 1500m event

• Team GB suffer defeats to South Korea in the men's and women's competitions, while Team Muirhead beat Denmark in their other game of the day

Skeleton 

Lizzy Yarnold struggled to find the words to express her emotions as she became the first British Winter Olympian to retain her title – with Laura Deas taking bronze in the same race. 

Both athletes had displayed strong form across the week's training and came into the final two runs on Saturday with Yarnold lying third and Deas fourth.

The former moved up a place after the third run before a blistering track record of 51.46 with her final effort put her into first place with final racer, Janine Flock unable to better it. 

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That left Yarnold taking gold by 0.45 seconds from Germany's Jacqueline Loelling with Deas holding on to bronze from Flock by 0.02 seconds. 

"The emotions are still going through me, I don't really know what is going on," said Yarnold.

"I believed I could do my best but it's something scary to think that far ahead, that maybe I could be a double Olympic champion. I didn't really let myself say that.

"I love big occasions like this, I love stiff competition and the pressure. And I love being at the top and thinking this is it, it's the time to deliver. I can do this."

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Deas could not believe what she had done either.

“I thought ‘this must be a mistake', someone is going to tap me on the shoulder and say sorry. I have worked so hard for this for the past nine years," she said. 

“We know we have got a phenomenal team. We know how to deliver results. It really is a team effort even though it’s an individual sport. I can’t thank them enough. They have done phenomenal job.”

Freestyle Skiing

Izzy Atkin wrote her name into the history books as she claimed Team GB's first Olympic skiing medal with bronze in the ski slopestyle.

In a tense final, Atkin rose to the occasion to deliver her best score on her final run with 84.60.

That put her onto the podium but she then had to nervously wait for the final three skiers to complete their runs before seeing the medal confirmed. Katie Summerhayes also equalled her Olympic best with seventh after a strong performance while carrying an ankle injury. 

“I'm speechless and stoked to win the bronze and represent Great Britain,” said Atkin.

“I knew I'd skied the best I could and I was just waiting for the last girls to drop. My heart was racing and I couldn't believe it.

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“There were tons of big names in the field, it could have been anyone's medal. Watching the last few runs, I was really nervous. I wanted them to do well because we're all friends but for me, it worked out.”

Later in the day, aerials skier Lloyd followed in his parents' footsteps by representing Team GB at a Olympic Winter Games.

Less than six months after being airlifted from a crash and placed in an induced coma, the 23-year-old scored 100.03 to finish in 20th. 

“It's been a crazy six months,” he said,”They put me into a coma in August and I've had to come back from severe concussion and losing muscle mass. I've had to work extremely hard.

But I've got here, I've jumped at the Olympics and I'm an Olympian. It's unbelievable.”

Short Track Speed Skating

Elise Christie's hopes of a medal in the 1500m were ended at the semi-final stage following a crash on the final lap.

Christie was taken to hospital as a precaution and the subsequent assessment of her right ankle revealed no broken bones.  

Teammate Charlotte Gilmartin also reached the semi-finals of the 1500m before a fall ended her evening early, while Kathryn Thomson failed to progress out of the heats and Farrell Treacy was fourth in his 1000m quarter-final. 

Curling

Team GB suffered a double blow on Saturday as both British skips Eve Muirhead and Kyle Smith oversaw defeats at the hands of South Korea.

Smith’s rink went down 11-5 and Muirhead’s team surrendered their early lead to lose 7-4.

There is now no margin for error for Smith, who have two wins from five in the round robin format. 

“We started really well again and then we had a dip in the middle of the game and you can’t afford that,” admitted coach Viktor Kjell.

“We’ve left too many half shots out there. We knew they were a good team and we didn’t get up to standard.”

Muirhead's rink meanwhile have played five, won three and lie joint fourth in the standings with four games to play.

They were leading 4-2 with three ends remaining but gave up two doubles and a single when the match was at the crunch stage.

“That was a difficult one, I feel like we kind of handed them a little bit,” admitted Muirhead, who did lead her team to 7-6 win over Denmark earlier in the day.

“There was a lot of great shots and unfortunately we were just on the wrong side of the inch at the end of the day and when’s it’s like that, that’s curling,” she said.

“They played really well, they are a really good team but I do think we were slightly the better team.”

What to watch out for tomorrow....

Izzy Atkin became the first British skier to win an Olympic medal in the women’s slopestyle but can James Woods or Tyler Harding match her, with their qualifying starting at 10am (1am UK time). Woods was fifth in Sochi four years ago despite competing with a hip injury and is a world and X Games medallist.

Men’s skip Kyle Smith will look to return to winning ways after Saturday’s defeat to Korea. His rink take on Italy at 8.05pm (11.05am). Eve Muirhead is also back in action with Sweden their rivals at 2.05pm (5.05am).

And Brad Hall and Joel Fearon are Britain’s two-man bobsleigh team and will take part in the first two runs of their competition at 8.05pm (11.05am).

Sportsbeat 2018