PyeongChang 2018: Five to follow
PyeongChang 2018

PyeongChang 2018: Five to follow

26 January 2018 / 15:32

The team has been announced, it’s our biggest ever, and the first athletes have touched down in PyeongChang.

There are now just two weeks until the opening ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and with Team GB targeting their most successful event ever there will be plenty of action to keep you occupied.

With that in mind, we’re giving you a look at our five to follow at PyeongChang 2018.

Lizzy Yarnold: Skeleton

Yarnold

She’s won it all. Olympic Champion, World Champion, European Champion and World Cup Champion.

After taking Olympic gold at Sochi 2014, Lizzy Yarnold capped a remarkable 12 months by finishing both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons as the World Cup champion, as well as taking the World and European titles in early 2015.

The former heptathlete took a sabbatical from the sport the following season but returned in 2016, reinvigorated and ready to launch her assault on another Olympic title, in South Korea.

In her comeback season she recorded one World Cup podium and took bronze at the World Championships.

And after an up and down season this term she is coming into form just at the right time, with a ninth place in St Moritz and fourth in Koenigssee to finish the World Cup circuit.

Dave Ryding: Alpine Skiing

DaveRyding3200Kitz

He shocked the alpine skiing world when he claimed Britain’s first World Cup skiing podium for 36 years when he took slalom silver in Kitzbuhel, last January.

But to those in the know it was less of a shock. Ryding has been steadily improving in recent years and had already scored a sixth-place finish in Levi, Finland, the previous November, and seventh in Zagreb, earlier that January.

The man from Bretherton then almost made another trip to the podium in Stockholm in the parallel slalom, but finished an agonising fourth, just 0.06s off a bronze medal.

This season he already has four World Cup top-tens to his name, including a fourth at the Oslo city event – but one questions remains.

Can he get on the podium again in the biggest show of all?

Team Muirhead: Curling

Team Muirhead

Eve Muirhead led her rink to Olympic bronze at Sochi 2014, and World Championship gold in 2013.

Muirhead herself is a four-time junior World Champion and won the European Curling Championships in 2011.

The 27-year-old Scot is clearly used to success and with Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray making up the rest of Team Muirhead they will be hoping to go two better than 2014 and emulate the feat of their compatriots in Salt Lake City 2002 – when Rhona Martin’s ‘stone of destiny’ won gold for Team GB.

Their preparations could not have gone any better, with bronze in the 2017 World Championships before reclaiming the European crown they first won back in 2011, later the same year.

Team Muirhead are already established as one of the world’s leading curling rinks, can they go all the way in PyeongChang?

Elise Christie: Short Track Speed Skating

EliseChristieWorldChamps

There’s not much this 27-year-old Scot has left to achieve in the world of short track speed skating but having left Sochi 2014 empty-handed she has a score to settle with the Olympic Winter Games.

Elise Christie has a habit of making history, doing so in 2015 by becoming the first British skater to win two medals at a World Championships.

And she followed that in 2016 by setting a world record in the 500m, retaining her European overall title and taking 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m crowns.

But it was in 2017 that she truly shone, picking up a hat-trick of gold medals at the World Championships.

A thigh injury has blighted her PyeongChang preparations this season but she showed she is still in medal-winning form with a bronze and a gold from this season’s World Cup – can she now go to South Korea and put those Sochi demons to bed?

Izzy Atkin: Freestyle Skiing

IsabelAtkin

The young pretender, coming up on the rails, Izzy Atkin is a teenager with a big future in front of her.

At 18 she became the first British woman to win a World Cup ski slopestyle event when she triumphed in Silvaplana, Switzerland, last March.

And she quickly followed up that success with a bronze medal at the World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

With six World Cup top-ten placings in her last seven events since the start of 2017, Atkin is a proven performer on the big stage.

This season she has finished seventh and third in her two World Cup appearances and has one last run out at the Winter X-Games to come, before heading to PyeongChang to potentially make more history. 

Sportsbeat 2018

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