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Former Maidstone schoolgirl Lizzy Yarnold from West Kingsdown wins gold in the women's skeleton at the Winter Olympics in Sochi

14 February 2014
by Steve Tervet

Lizzie Yarnold celebrates her Olympic gold. Pictures Getty Images

Lizzy Yarnold celebrates her Olympic gold. Pictures: Getty Images

Kent’s Lizzy Yarnold won Great Britain's first gold medal of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Friday night.

The 25-year-old, from West Kingsdown, claimed victory in the women's skeleton competition in Sochi.

Yarnold went into the Games as one of Team GB's brightest medal hopes and she lived up to expectations by blowing away the rest of the field.

Over four runs at the Sanki Sliding Centre, the former Maidstone Grammar School for Girls student clocked 3:53.86 to finish 0.97 seconds clear of her closest rivals.

Yarnold went into the final run with a big lead of 0.78 seconds after setting a track record of 57.91 seconds earlier in the day.

Having clocked 58.43 and 58.46 in her first two runs on Thursday, the World Cup champion’s total time at the halfway stage was 1:56.89.

And Yarnold never looked like relinquishing her position at the top of the timesheet as she went on to emulate Amy Williams, who won skeleton gold in Vancouver four years ago.

Yarnold said: "It's unexplainable. I'm sure it won't sink in for another few days.

"I've worked so hard to get into this position and I'm just so proud that my dreams have come true.

"I would have been proud medaling and now I've got the gold it is unexplainable. I always have high expectations of myself."

She added: "I always secretly intended to come to Sochi. That was always my dream and my goal but to win the whole race is far beyond my expectations."


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