Winter Olympics 2014: Lizzy Yarnold flying high ahead of women's skeleton after topping the tables in both training heats
Yarnold is one of Great Britain's best gold medal hopes
Tuesday 11 February 2014
Lizzy Yarnold underlined her position as hot favourite for the women's skeleton gold medal by recording the fastest times in both official training heats at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rosa Khutor on Tuesday.
The Kent slider went 0.10 seconds faster than Russian Maria Orlova in her opening heat on Tuesday morning, and extended that advantage to 0.37 seconds over Canadian Sarah Reid in the second run.
Yarnold's closest rival, American Noelle Pikus-Pace, chose to sit out the optional training runs, reportedly in order to protect a lingering back problem.
Yarnold will have two more official training runs on Wednesday before she begins her quest to become the fourth consecutive Olympic women's skeleton gold medallist from Great Britain over four runs, with the first two scheduled for Thursday.
Yarnold said: "It was good fun - I have two more (training) runs left and each run has to be a real experiment. I have to try as many lines as I can and work out what's the best thing to do in the race.
"The competition is so fierce. We're a group of very, very strong and ambitious women, so I'm very proud to compete alongside them. I'm just here to do my best and to do myself justice."
A spokesperson for the US Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation later said Pikus-Pace had chosen to sit out of the official training runs in order to relax with friends and family.
The American chose the same tactic during a race over the same course in November - and won.
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...
Loic Remy to Arsenal? Gunners close in on move for QPR and France striker - reports
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Brazil vs Germany match report World Cup 2014: Utter humiliation for hosts as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos help Germany hit seven past Selecao
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassingly brilliant leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations