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Dom Parsons won Team GB's first medal of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics this morning, with a brilliant bronze in the men’s skeleton.
He finished ahead of Latvian Martin Dukurs – who held the coveted third place at Parson’s expense going into day two – by 0.11s. Parsons narrowly missed out on silver, ending the competition just 0.02s behind Olympic Athlete of Russia slider Nikita Tregubov.
He was rewarded for four consistent runs, with Thursday’s times of 50.85 and 50.41 followed with an improved 50.33 and 50.61 today, ending with an aggregate time of 3.22.20m.
After the event, he said: “"It's just incredible. Four years of work has gone into this, right from after Sochi when I started working with Kristan Bromley, this has been the goal from that point. Sometimes it seemed like it wasn't that close in coming and it's just amazing that it's all come together this time.”
Parsons bronze is a momentous medal with his podium finish making him the first British male skeleton medallist in seventy years, since John Crammond’s bronze at the 1948 St Moritz Games.
The achievement underlined Team GB’s status as one of the dominant nations in skeleton. Going into PyeongChang, they were second in the sport’s all-time table with six medals won, behind only the United States, and have now won skeleton medals at the last five Winter Olympic Games.
As well as Parson’s, teammate Jerry Rice also secured a fantastic result for Team GB. On his Olympic debut, he delivered a tenth placed spot with an accumulative time of 3.24.24m, boding well for Beijing 2022.
Yarnold & Deas race for medals tomorrow
The end of the men’s skeleton ushered in the start of the women’s, with British duo Lizzy Yarnold and Laura Deas lying third and fourth respectively at the half-way point. Yarnold clocked the field’s fastest time of 51.66 in the first heat, though a slightly slower second run leaves her trailing current leader Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling by 0.10s. Deas recorded two consistent runs of 52.00 and 52.03 to stay in the medal reckoning.
The medals will be decided when they take part in the concluding two runs tomorrow at 11:20am UK time.
In cross-country skiing’s Men’s 15km freestyle, Andrew Musgrave could not match his 7th place finish in last Sunday’s Men’s 15km + 15km skiathlon, ranking 28th. Elsewhere on the slopes, 24-year-old Charlotte Guest finished a creditable 33rd on her Olympic debut in the women’s slalom.
The men’s curling team lost narrowly to Sweden 8 – 6. Standing at two wins and two losses, they remain firmly in the hunt for a semi-final place with five group-stage matches to go.
Did you know…?
Dom Parsons is a former 400m runner who was introduced to skeleton when he was persuaded to go to talent testing in 2007, immediately falling in love with the sport.
Lizzy Yarnold and Laura Deas also both came through UK Sport’s Talent I.D. programme, Girls4Gold, in 2008.
If you’re aged between 17 and 23, and think you have the qualities to make it in the skeleton, we’d love to hear from you. Sign up at uksport.gov.uk/talent to #DiscoverYourGold and maybe you’ll be a champion of the future.
Keep up to date with everything PyeongChang related by following all the action on the UK Sport Twitter page.