Sport in the Spotlight: Skeleton

Sport in the Spotlight: Skeleton

27 January 2018 / 22:17

THE SPORT 

Skeleton made its maiden Olympic Winter Games appearance in St. Moritz in 1928, returning 20 years later in the same host city.

It was restored to the roster for a third time in Salt Lake City 2002 and has remained a popular part of the schedule ever since.

No-one has ever defended an Olympic skeleton title and competition this year is hotter than ever in both men’s and women’s categories.

THE SCHEDULE

February 15

Men’s Heat 1 and 2 – 10:00-12:25 (01:00-03:25 UK time)

February 16

Men’s Heat 3 and 4 – 09:30-12:10 (00:30-03:10 UK time)

Women’s Heat 1 and 2 – 20:20-22:10 (11:20-13:10 UK time)

February 17

Women’s Heat 3 and 4 – 20:20-22:40 (11:20-13:40 UK time)

HOW TEAM GB HAS FARED IN THE PAST

The skeleton has been an event in which British athletes have thrived. Team GB are second only to the United States in the all-time medal table, with six medals overall, including two golds.

Lizzy Yarnold’s gold in Sochi four years ago carried on where Amy Williams left off in Vancouver in 2010. Will there be a third gold in as many Games for Team GB this time around?

Alex Coomber’s bronze in 2002 and Shelley Rudman’s Turin 2006 bronze means there has been a female British rider on the podium ever since it returned to the Games in 2002.

For the men, David Carnegie claimed bronze in 1928, with John Crammond sealing silver 20 years later.

BRITWATCH

Lizzy Yarnold

The reigning champion came into form at the right time towards the end of the World Cup season – an impressive fourth place finish in the final round of competition in Konigssee earlier this month sealing ninth overall.

The 29-year-old is bidding to become the first Briton to defend an Olympic Winter Games title.

Laura Deas

Deas is getting better and better with each passing year, securing her first World Cup win in 2015 – a triumph in Altenberg.

She has four World Cup medals to her name and missed out by a whisker on a European Championships medal in 2017, where she finished fourth overall.

Dom Parsons

Parsons is another Brit who is on an upward curve. A former 400m runner, he was introduced to skeleton in 2007 and finished fourth at World Junior Championships in 2009 and 2010.

He finished tenth in Sochi four years ago and eighth in last year’s World Championships in Germany.

Jerry Rice

At 27, Rice is the youngest member of Team GB’s skeleton squad. He made his World Cup debut in 2016, finishing 15th in Koenigssee.

He debuted at a World Championship on the same track a year later, finishing 19th, and claimed the 2016-17 Intercontinental Cup crown.

WHO IS THE COMPETITION?

Martins Dukurs

The Latvian is one of only two athletes to have won more than one skeleton medal at the Games, claiming silver in 2010 and 2014.

He is a five-time World Champion and will be itching to get the elusive Olympic gold having been runner-up twice before.

Yun Sungbin

The young Korean ended Dukurs’ iron-like grip on the World Cup, dramatically being named winner despite not competing in the final round in Koenigssee.

He will have the advantage of a vocal home crowd and will represent a serious challenge to the medal positions.

Jacqueline Loelling

The 22-year-old German looks to be favourite for the women’s crown. She is the reigning World Champion and sealed her second overall consecutive overall World Cup triumph.

She claimed four victories from eight rounds of World Cup racing through the 2017-18 season.

Tina Hermann

Loelling’s compatriot Tina Hermann was runner-up in the World Cup but has a glittering array of trophies already in her cabinet.

She has an overall World Cup and three World Championship golds to her name and will be one to watch in PyeongChang.

Sportsbeat 2018

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