Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold and team-mate Laura Deas excel in skeleton training

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Defending champion Lizzy Yarnold was fastest on the fourth run of skeleton training at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on Tuesday – after Great Britain team-mate Laura Deas set the quickest time on the third run.

Deas finished second and first on the first two training runs on Monday, when Sochi 2014 gold medallist Yarnold was third and fourth quickest at the Olympic Sliding Centre in Alpensia.

The Britons’ results bode well for the four-run competition which begins on Friday and concludes on Saturday.

Lizzy Yarnold, pictured, and Great Britain team-mate Laura Deas have excelled in two days of skeleton training so far
Lizzy Yarnold, pictured, and Great Britain team-mate Laura Deas have excelled in two days of skeleton training so far (David Davies/PA Wire)

Deas clocked 51.96 seconds for the first run of the day, the third of official training, to beat Canada’s Elisabeth Vathje by 0.10secs, with Yarnold 0.56 behind her team-mate in sixth.

Roles were reversed on the fourth run, as Yarnold clocked 52.05, 0.20 better than Germany’s Anna Fernstaedt. Deas was 0.69 back in seventh.

Sliders may tinker with equipment and priorities in training – some may start at full tilt, while others will not – and there is a further day of preparation on Wednesday.

Laura Deas has finished first twice and second once in her four training runs at the Olympic Sliding Centre
Laura Deas has finished first twice and second once in her four training runs at the Olympic Sliding Centre (David Davies/PA Images)

After underwhelming World Cup seasons for both British sliders, the improved performances could be attributed, in part at least, to innovations in equipment.

Deas, a 29-year-old from Wrexham, claimed her first World Cup win in November 2015 and was fourth at the 2017 World Championships.

British sliders have won the last two women’s skeleton titles, with Yarnold succeeding 2010 winner Amy Williams as champion.

Shelley Rudman won Olympic silver in Turin, while Alex Coomber took bronze in Salt Lake City four years earlier.

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