On this day in 2018: Lizzy Yarnold retains Olympic skeleton title in Pyeongchang

PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

Lizzy Yarnold overcame dizzy spells to win a second successive women’s skeleton gold medal and become the first Briton to defend a Winter Olympics title on this day in 2018.

Then aged 29, the Sochi 2014 champion trailed leader Janine Flock of Austria entering the fourth and final run, where she overhauled the deficit to win by 0.45 seconds.

British team-mate Laura Deas claimed bronze in Pyeongchang by 0.02secs as Britain won two medals in the same event for the first time in Winter Olympics history.

Yarnold went into the final day 0.10secs off the pace after complaining of being dizzy, but cut the deficit as overnight leader Jacqueline Loelling of Germany slipped back to third place after the third run.

The Briton trailed Flock by 0.02 ahead of the fourth and final run, meaning Yarnold was the penultimate slider to take to the track and had to watch her rival’s performance.

Yarnold clocked a track record of 51.46secs to take the lead in commanding fashion and Flock floundered, relinquishing her spot on the podium to spark jubilant celebrations among a sizeable British contingent at the Olympic Sliding Centre, including Welsh racer Deas.

An emotional Yarnold, who became Britain’s most decorated Winter Olympian, said: “I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. I don’t really know how it happened.

“After the first run I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to finish the race because my chest infection was so bad I was struggling to breathe and I got here only with the help of my team.

“I guess four years ago, three years ago the whole team all dared to dream that this was possible and I just went with them all and we managed it.”

With Deas finishing third behind Lolling, and Izzy Atkin having earlier secured bronze in the women’s ski slopestyle, it was the first time Britain had won three Winter Olympic medals on the same day, overtaking the record two from Chamonix in 1924.