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WINTER OLYMPICS: Shelley hints at Pyeongchang attempt
SHELLEY Rudman has hinted she may attempt to qualify for a fourth Winter Olympic Games in four years' time after finishing outside the top ten in Sochi today.
The Pewsey slider, 32, finished 16th in the Olympic women's skeleton event at Sanki Sliding Centre as compatriot Lizzy Yarnold clinched the gold medal in emphatic style.
Rudman started day two of the event in 11th position, but was nudged down the field in the final two runs.
The 2006 silver medallist admitted that, like in Vancouver four years ago where she finished sixth as Amy Williams won gold for Great Britain, the track hadn't suited her.
But she refused to rule out going for qualification for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, when she would be 36.
She said: "I am really happy that I really stuck with it and really tried my hardest to connect with the track but it was one that didn’t suit my style of driving.
“But that final run, there were parts of it where I thought ‘I am getting it, I am getting it’. I just tried everything I could and I am happy that I really stuck with it.
“My starts were really good on the first day and I can only be happy and the support back home has been brilliant.”
While Yarnold raced away with the gold medal, finishing nearly a second clear of the rest of the field, reigning world champion Rudman said she would have a period of rest before assessing her future in the sport.
“I look at my career and think ‘yeah, it’s great’ and what we are going to do now is try and go on a family holiday, relax a little bit and set some new goals out for possibly Pyeongchang,'' she added.
Yarnold meanwhile, was still coming to terms with her own achievement.
She said: ""It is unexplainable. I am sure it won't sink in for another few days.
"I have worked so hard to get into this position and I am just so proud that my dreams have come true.
"I would have been proud medaling and now I have got the gold it is unexplainable. I always have high expectations of myself.
"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."
Team GB chef de mission Mike Hay said: "This is a fantastic moment for Lizzy and I know every member of our Team GB delegation is thrilled for her.
"What we have seen during the past two days of competition is an athlete at the very top of her sport.
"Through hard work, determination, unwavering self-belief and an outstanding support system, Lizzy has earned a title very few athletes can claim: she is the Olympic champion.
"Lizzy is also the latest in a series of remarkable athletes who, as Olympic medallists for Team GB, have lifted British Skeleton to the pinnacle of Olympic and international competition.
"This list includes her team-mate, Shelley Rudman, an Olympic medallist and world champion in her own right.
"We congratulate Lizzy, Shelley, and everyone at British Skeleton for adding yet another exciting chapter to their tradition of success."
SEE NEXT WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD FOR MORE FROM SHELLEY RUDMAN AFTER THE WOMEN'S SKELETON IN SOCHI.