Dominant Yarnold takes Olympic gold by nearly a second

14 February 2014 / 17:35

Lizzy Yarnold showed no signs of pressure as she claimed Olympic women's skeleton gold to double Great Britain's medal tally in Sochi.

Yarnold and her trusty sled Mervyn carried a 0.44 second advantage after the opening runs at the Sanki Sliding Centre and her final winning margin over silver medallist Noelle Pikus Pace was a massive 0.97 seconds while Russia's Elena Nikitina took bronze.

World number one Yarnold - who took up the sport just five years ago and has dominated the World Cup season - arrived in Sochi as Great Britain's hottest gold medal favourite since Torvill and Dean.

And 30 years to the day since they performed their famous Bolero routine in Sarajevo, she also delivered in perfect style.

Yarnold wins Britain's tenth Winter Olympic title and stretches Team GB's podium run in the women's skeleton to four straight Games, following Alex Coomber's 2002 bronze, Shelley Rudman's silver in Turin and the gold won by Amy Williams four years ago in Vancouver. 

"Lizzy Yarnold is unique. She has something different within her psychologically. Within five years of starting she has become an Olympic champion, and that is pretty much unheard of in any sport," said Williams, who surrenders her Olympic crown to the girl who rents her flat in Bath.

"She experienced intensive teaching in the first year, doing hundreds of runs with great equipment and coaching. You have to be taught how to slide, then you are developed from there as quickly as possible into a champion.

"She had such a big margin, no-one was going to take it away from her. She panicked a bit with the mistake at the top, but she did not drop that much time.

"She had such a big lead, and she has come down Olympic champion. I am so proud we have kept the medal in Great Britain - her name is in the history books."

Yarnold was cheered to victory in Sochi by a vocal ‘Yarny Army’ – including her parents, Judith and Clive, sisters Katie and Charlotte and members of the British team, including chef de mission Mike Hay.

And those celebrations promised to go on long into the night.

© Sportsbeat 2014