West Kingsdown skeleton slider Lizzy Yarnold wins Winter Olympics gold

News Shopper: Lizzy Yarnold is Olympic champion. Lizzy Yarnold is Olympic champion.

WEST Kingsdown skeleton slider Lizzy Yarnold has swept all before her by hurtling to Olympic gold in Sochi.

The 25-year-old took Great Britain’s first gold medal of the Winter Olympics and twice broke the track record at the Sanki Sliding Center.

Yarnold, who grew up in West Kingsdown, was cheered on all the way to the finish line by her 'Yarnie Army' fan club.

Mum and dad Judith and Clive, sisters Katie and Charlotte and boyfriend James Roach, who works with the technical team for British Bobsleigh, were all there to support her in the Russian Black Sea resort.

The 2012 Junior World Champion, 2013-14 World Cup Champion and 2012 and 2013 World Championship medallist always looked in charge as she lead from the very first run yesterday.

She set a track record of 58.43 seconds and followed it up with another solid run to take a 0.44 second lead into the final two runs today.

But that record didn’t last as Yarnold recorded a blistering 57.91 seconds on the third run this afternoon to take a massive 0.78 second advantage over American Noelle Pikus-Pace into the final run.

She didn't have the cleanest run in the final slide but still clocked 58.09 seconds to take gold from her American rival by what is a huge margin for skeleton of 0.97 seconds and an overall time of 3.52.89. 

A relatively late starter to the sport at the age of 20, Yarnold now lives and trains in Bath but says on her Facebook page her “heart is always in Garden of England where I've lived most of my life”.

Skeleton involves hurtling down a special track with artificially frozen ice using just a sled, with racers battling up to 5Gs in some corners.

Olympic competitions feature four runs over two days with the winner having the lowest overall time.

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