Yarnold eager to claim first world crown in Winterberg

26 February 2015 / 11:37

Lizzy Yarnold says she is determined to get her hands on the one title that has eluded her when she makes the trip to Winterberg for the World Championships next week.

The Olympic skeleton champion has a long list of accolades to her name so far in her career but has yet been unable to take a world title – bronze in 2012 the best she has been able to muster.

The 26-year-old won’t be alone in her quest to beat the world’s best with teammates Rose McGrandle and Laura Deas in action while Dom Parsons, Ed Smith and David Swift will go for the men.

And Yarnold says she relishes the competition at home and is looking forward to see what the Brits can achieve when the competition gets started on March 5 in Germany.

“Being World Champion is the one title that has eluded me so far so selections really important and we’ve got a strong team,” she said.

“I’m not sure we’ve taken this many athletes to the World Championships before so I think it'll be good and I think the team race will be exciting, so there’s lots to look forward to.

“The World Championship is the title that I want. I want to win the race like I want to win any race I go in and I’m going there to win.

“I’m very proud that I’m most competitive with my other team mates because we do share lines and say what’s good here what’s not good here, but when it comes to race day I want to beat them as much as anyone else.

“Once in Latvia, three of us were on the podium. I wasn’t on top of the podium but it was one of my proudest days when the only people that can beat me are the Brits.”

It has been a whirlwind year for Yarnold who, 12 months ago, was a newly-crowned Olympic champion.

And she admits the memories of Sochi will help spur her on when she gets her World Championships underway next week.

“It’s almost like I go through it every day. I couldn’t take it all in at the time, it was only when I revisited Sochi this week that you sit there and think that was just magical,” she added.  

“It was just a brilliant competition, I was surrounded by all the people that I love and got to know over the years so it’s totally unexplainable and I get those emotions back every time I think about.

“Hopefully I can use that experience to help me.”

While the weight of expectation will inevitably fall on Yarnold, teammates Deas and McGrandle are also hoping to make a splash.

For Deas the season has brought about a number of watershed moments – most notably the first World Cup medals of her career.

A silver in Calgary and a bronze at the home of sliding St. Moritz have shown exactly what she is capable of and she says she hopes to keep that momentum going as she prepares to take on the world.

“The silver medal in Calgary was obviously really special because it was my first ever world cup medal and it was a new track,” said Deas.

“Moritz, as well, the bronze there was really special because it’s the home of sliding and there’s so much history there and it really feels like Mecca for our sport.

“It was quite surreal really because it was all so new to me, the whole World Cup scene. Going from Lake Placid where I finished 12th the previous week to going on to the podium was quite a lot to get my head around and it was obviously a really good feeling.”

A new Olympic cycle has also brought with it a new coach in the shape of American Eric Bernotas and McGrandle believes a fresh approach has given the squad a new desire to succeed at the highest level.

“I’ve been to one world championship before and that was a very new experience for me so I’m feeling like this one is going to be much better and I’ll be able to put the work in and give a much better performance,” said McGrandle.

“We’ve got a new head coach in Eric Bernotas, he’s been a really positive introduction to the team.

“I think every coach brings a slightly different perspective on the sport so it’s just been getting used to that shift in perspective that’s been really valuable.”

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