Winter Olympics 2014: Lizzy Yarnold clinches skeleton World Cup title just days out from Sochi Games

The Kent slider finishes ninth in Konigssee, enough to finish the season as champion

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The Independent Online

Skeleton star Lizzy Yarnold will arrive at the Sochi Olympics as World Cup champion after clinching the title in Germany on Friday.

The 25-year-old Kent slider, one of Team GB’s strongest Sochi medal hopes, finished off the podium for the first and only time in the eight-race season but ninth position in Konigssee was enough to hold off Noelle Pikus-Pace of the USA in the overall  standings.

Yarnold becomes the third British woman to win the World Cup title after team-mate Shelley Rudman in 2012, and Alex Coomber, who won three consecutive titles between 2000 and 2002.

“To have been as consistent as I have with seven podium finishes, which is a record, is a great achievement and then to win this trophy is the best thing in my whole career,” said Yarnold.

“I can’t stop grinning from ear to ear. If Sochi goes as well it will be absolutely perfect.”

Yarnold’s hopes of keeping up her record of podium finishes ended when she suffered a major bump midway through her first run and had to settle for finishing 1.25 seconds behind Pikus-Pace, who like Yarnold ends the season with four World Cup victories.

Rudman will also be heading to Sochi as a strong medal hope after taking bronze in Konigssee to come third overall in the World Cup.