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Medway and Maidstone AC celebrate as Lizzy Yarnold wins Olympic skeleton gold in Sochi

18 February 2014

Medway and Maidstone AC joined in with the celebrations when former club member Lizzy Yarnold won Olympic skeleton gold in Sochi.

Yarnold, who attended Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, was a talented all-round athlete representing M&M, Ashford and Tonbridge AC as a junior.

She was a regular in the UK Women’s League and last competed for M&M in the Division 3 match at Wigan on August 1, 2009, winning the B shot with 11.03 metres in support of Lucy Underdown’s first A string (12.24m).

Lizzy Yarnold. Picture Getty Images

Lizzy Yarnold. Picture: Getty Images

These were the sole victories for M&M on a day that saw the women’s team finish sixth in the league to secure National 3 status for another season. Yarnold also added points from the javelin and 400m to the final tally.

Yarnold, 25 and in her fourth season of skeleton bob racing, ranked eighth in the UK at shot and seventh at javelin as an under-23 in 2009 and can point to personal bests of 27.3 seconds for 200m, 1.51m for high jump, 5.23 for long jump, 12.61m for shot, 43.68m for javelin and 3,866 points for the heptathlon.

The England Senior Championships at Gateshead on July 7, 2010 resulted in a bronze for Yarnold at shot (11.39m) but no selection for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where M&M club-mate Martin Brockman won a bronze in the decathlon.

Yarnold took part in UK Sport’s Girls4Gold talent search programme in 2008 with aspirations for the modern pentathlon but her power and speed ratio was perfect for pushing the 30kg skeleton, resulting in her first attempt in Norway early the following year using her old 800m running spikes.

This winter she had already won the World Cup series with seven podium places before achieving Olympic glory to emulate her mentor and landlady, Amy Williams, who won gold in Vancouver four years ago.

Yarnold now lives and trains at Bath but comes from West Kingsdown.

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