Reigning Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold hailed the start of a new chapter as she clinched bronze at the skeleton World Championships in Koenigssee.
Yarnold, who now has three World Championship medals to her name having won the title in 2015, marked her return to the event in style after taking 18 months away from the ice.
The 28-year-old, also the 2015 European champion, sat fourth overnight after the second run in Germany was cancelled midway through, due to heavy snowfall.
She moved up into bronze medal position after clocking the fastest time of the competition in run three, where she remained with an overall time of 2:36.08 – 0.73 seconds off gold.
That position was taken by Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling, who claimed a maiden World Championship title, with compatriot and last year’s champion Tina Hermann taking the silver medal.
And with her sights set on retaining her Olympic title in Pyeongchang next year, Yarnold insists she is very much back to her best.
“It’s very emotional. I really feel like this is the beginning and this is where the hard work starts,” she said.
“I feel as though I’ve had a season to get back into competition and now I know how to race again.
“Racing against Germans on their home track is a really tough challenge but I feel like I was consistent here.
“It’s all about being consistent and calm under pressure and dealing with what’s in front of you.
“I was always confident but I do feel now that I’ve got back into the swing of things. I never doubted myself - never doubted that I would give my best.
“I do feel like I’ve developed as a person and in terms of my sliding skill and ability since I won the World title. Even though my results haven’t always shown I’m a better slider this season, I know that I am. I’ve got a better perspective now and a better platform.
“I can’t thank everyone in my team enough for being so patient with me and pushing me on when I needed it and telling me to cool off when I needed that too.”
Fellow Brit Laura Deas finished tenth in a total time of 2:37.21, having jumped up from 13th overnight to finish just 0.37 seconds from a podium spot, while Donna Creighton placed 22nd to miss out on the top 20 by just 0.46 seconds.
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