World champion Shelley Rudman has secured her slot on the British skeleton's World Cup squad - meaning she will not take part in this month's selection trials.
The decision to select the 2006 Olympic silver medallist means Lizzy Yarnold, Donna Creighton, Rose McGrandle and Laura Daes will now battle it out for the two remaining spots on the team.
Great Britain qualified two sliders for the last Olympics in Vancouver and are aiming for three slots in Sochi, with that decision made after seven rounds of the World Cup circuit.
“I’m really pleased I have been given the opportunity to fully focus on my preparation going into this season and in particular ahead of the international training week in Sochi and the first World Cup race in Calgary at the end of November," said Rudman.
"Working with my coaching team, we determined that it will enable me to phase my preparation and be in the best possible shape for when it matters this season.”
Team officials - who will also select a three-strong men's World Cup team - will base their remaining decisions on performances in the selection races in Altenberg but performance director Nigel Laughton insisted it was right to exempt Rudman.
“Our experience from the Turin and Vancouver Games has shown that for certain athletes, pre-selection can be hugely beneficial, allowing them to plan and prepare their peaking strategies more effectively," he said.
"Given Shelley’s consistency and world class performances, including her World Championship win earlier this year, we felt it important to give her the flexibility for the season.”
© Sportsbeat 2013