WINTER OLYMPICS: Sochi progress pleases Shelley

Shelley Rudman during her practice runs at the Sanki Sliding Centre today

Shelley Rudman during her practice runs at the Sanki Sliding Centre today

First published in Sport
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Shelley Rudman believes she is getting to grips with the Sanki Sliding Centre after today's third and fourth practice runs ahead of the Olympic women's skeleton event starting on Thursday.

The Pewsey slider, 32, was 13th and 14th fastest as compatriot and reigning World Cup champion Lizzy Yarnold underlined her position as hot favourite to clinch the gold medal in Rosa Khutor by recording the fastest times in both runs.

2006 Olympic silver medallist Rudman placed in 15th and 16th places respectively over her two runs on Monday.

She said today: "I'm pleased with this morning, things that I was struggling with yesterday I've managed to correct today, so that's positive.

"I feel like I'm getting into the rhythm of things, it's coming together and I'm really enjoying my time out here."

Kent slider Yarnold went 0.10 seconds faster than Russian Maria Orlova in her opening heat this morning, and extended that advantage to 0.37 seconds over Canadian Sarah Reid in the second run.

American Noelle Pikus-Pace, chose to sit out the optional training runs, with a spokesperson for the US Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation later saying she had chosen to sit out of the official training runs in order to relax with friends and family.

The American chose the same tactic during a race over the same course in November - and won.

The competitors will have two more official training runs on Wednesday before beginning their quest for medals with the first two scheduled for Thursday.

MORE FROM SHELLEY AHEAD OF THE START OF THE OLYMPIC SKELETON EVENT AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT TOMORROW AND LIVE COVERAGE OF THE EVENT AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY

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