WINTER OLYMPICS LIVE: Women's skeleton day one
This live event has finished
- Shelley Rudman clocks in with an overall time of 1:58.79 from her first two runs at Sochi 2014
- The Pewsey star is eleventh overall after clocking in at 59.46 in her first run and 59.33 in her second
- Great Britain team-mate Lizzy Yarnold is the overall leader with 1:56.89, a lead of 0.44 seconds
Shelley Rudman tells BBC Sport: "I'm pleased, it wasn't too bad, I was a little off my lines.
"On the first run it was almost pre-race nerves but I'm happy with the second run.
"I made a big mistake on the first run, a real time-bleeder. I'm really pleased my start improved for the second run.
"I'm happy, I just hope to move up a little bit.
"Tomorrow I'd like to have a tidy run and walk off the track happy. It's been a difficult two years getting here."
Thanks for following Shelley's progress with us this morning.
We'll re-cap this morning's action shortly on gazetteandherald.co.uk/sport and don't forget to join us again tomorrow afternoon for the second half of the women's skeleton at Sochi 2014.
The third runs begin at 3.40pm UK time, whilst the Olympic medals will be decided at 4.50pm.
Carry on sending us your comments and good luck messages for Pewsey's Shelley Rudman on twitter @gazsport
And that means that Shelley Rudman (1:58.79) has moved up a place to eleveth overall during this morning's second runs, leapfrogging Australia's Michelle Steele
Yarnold scorches home in 58.46, holding on to her lead with an overall time of 1:56.89.
The Great Britain slider leads by 0.44 seconds
And bringing the curtain down is Rudman's Great Britain team-mate Lizzy Yarnold, who is off on her way
Nikitina clocks in behind Pikus-Pace with 59.89, 1:57.43 overall
The penultimate slider is Russia's Elena Nikitina
Fellow American Noelle Pikus-Pace comes home in 58.65, with an overall time of 1:57.33
Uhlaender takes the lead and the top three from earlier this morning are up next
Just four sliders left to complete their second runs. The USA's Katie Uhlaender has just pushed off
Rudman currently sitting in sixth place in the overall standings. How much will she improve on her 12th-placed ranking after the first runs?
Come on @BritishSkeleton girls @TheYarnold and @ShelleyRudman- rest of the team shouting from Igls! http://t.co/1xqYbLqqbY— @jen_jb_bryant 13 February 2014
So now we play the waiting game as the remainder of the field take to the ice.
Shelley's second run was enough to hold off the challenge of Australia's Michelle Steele and the Great Britain star is currently in third place.
Beating the time of any athlete competing after her is a major plus point for the Pewsey slider
Good start by Shelley, clean lines through the tricky uphill section. 59.33, she has improved on her first run by 0.7 seconds— @BritishSkeleton 13 February 2014
Rudman betters her first run and notches up an overall time of 1:58.79
That's 59.46 in the first run and 59.33 in the second
Rudman improves on her first run with a time of 59.33
But she's just 0.01 of a second ahead into the last split!
It's a good start from Shelley but she's narrowly off the current leader
Rudman is underway
And here we go. Shelley steps up to the start line for her second run of Sochi 2014
Austrian Janine Flock is underway in Sochi and coming up once she's done is Pewsey ice queen Rudman
Just two more sliders to take on the track before Shelley pushes off on her second run.
Latvia's Lelde Priedulena has the quickest combined time so far of with 1:59.04.
Still plenty of competitors to come though
Japan's Nozomi Komuro clinches a run of 59.82 whilst Maria Gilardoni, from Switzerland, clocks up 59.79
Schaffer comes home in 59.25 whilst Romanian Maria Mazilu clocks in at 59.89 in her second run
Here's your leader after run one - Great Britain's Lizzy Yarnold
Australia's Lucy Schaffer is at the start line to kick off this morning's second runs - we're underway again in Sochi!
Shelley will be ninth to hit the ice during the second heat, whilst leader Yarnold will of course, go last
Just to recap, Rudman is 12th overall with a time of 59.46. That's 1.03 seconds behind Great Britain team-mate Lizzy Yarnold (58.43), who has lived up to the pre-race hype so far to take an early lead
So there's just over five minutes until the second runs get underway at the Sliding Centre Sanki.
There's work to do for Shelley to get into medal contention but the Pewsey slider has a wealth of experience behind her and we're only a quarter of the way through.
Here's a picture of Shelley starting her Olympic bid this morning with her first run
Skeleton - Confirmed quickest goes last (rumours had varied here) Yarnold will go 0929 and Rudman 0905 (ish)— @matthewcpinsent 13 February 2014
That's heat one of four done and dusted but don't worry, there isn't long to wait until this morning's second runs get underway - just under 30 minutes
Romania's Maria Mazilu brings the curtain down on the first runs at Sochi with a time of 59.99.
Shelley Rudman (59.46) is 12th overall in the standings, 1.03 seconds behind leader and Great Britain team-mate Lizzy Yarnold
Just five sliders left to complete their first runs. Pewsey's Rudman is 11th overall whilst Yarnold has yet to be bumped off the top, despite that scorching attempt by Russian Nikitina
So Rudman's GB team-mate Yarnold has her lead cut to just 0.05 of a second. Of course, it's still very early days, with three more runs yet to come
12 sliders gone and European champion Elena Nikitina moves into second in the standings with a run of 58.48.
Rudman currently sits ninth overall
It's a strong showing from the Germans on the ice, with Sophia Griebel moving in to third (59.43)
Television coverage may have decided to switch its attention back to the men's freestyle skiiing but we'll be keeping an eye on the women's skeleton for you.
Germany's Marion Thees has clocked in at 59.25 whilst Switzerland's Marina Gilardoni went down in 59.77
So Rudman is over a second off the blistering pace set by her Great Britain team-mate Lizzy Yarnold after the duo's first runs at Sochi 2014.
The Pewsey ice queen currently sits fourth after Germany's Anja Huber moved into third place (59.17)
Shelley Rudman clocks in third with a time of 59.46
20.11 at the first split, 32.81 at the second
And off she goes!
And here come's Wiltshire's interest. Shelley Rudman is at the start line
Lizzy Yarnold clocks in at 58.43, a quarter of a second ahead of Pikus-Pace
And off goes the current World Cup champion - and it's a good start from Yarnold!
It's a track record in the first run of this year's games
Next up is Great Britain's Lizzy Yarnold
Pikus-Pace kicks off the Sochi 2014 skeleton competition with a first run time of 58.68 seconds
And here we go. American Noelle Pikus-Pace is at the start line and will get us on our way
2010 gold medallist Amy Williams is currently giving a rundown of the Sochi track on TV, with plenty of shots of Rudman whizzing across the ice during practice runs
7.34am is the time Shelley is pencilled in to push off on her first run - now long to go now!
So just a reminder how it all works this morning.
Skeleton likes to keep it simple. Each slider has four runs - two today and two tomorrow - and it's the lowest overall time, not an average, that takes the gold.
The athletes go in a scheduled order for this morning's first run before going down the ice in reverse order after that
A few stats for you - because who doesn't love a few facts and figures?
A far cry from the recent weather on these shores, it's sunny in south-west Russia.
7°С is the air temperature but it's a lot colder on the ice: -5.1°С to be exact
Has anyone else got pre-race butterflies in their stomach? Just over a quarter of an hour until the Sochi skeleton gets underway
Rudman – who, let's not forget, is the reigning world champion - has said that she's done everything she can to be ready for the Sochi games
"I feel like it has taken a lot to get to this point to be here in Sochi, I know I couldn't have done anymore.
“Anything can happen on race day but I think it's clear that we've all worked incredibly hard to get to this place, so that gives me reasons to be confident.
“Everything that I’ve done this year has been geared up to give me the best chance of doing my best on the track at Sochi.
“I’m not worrying about the pressure because I’ve just been focussing on what I need to do out there and I just can’t wait to go and try to make it happen.”
It's quite amazing the unbelievable amount of hard work and sacrifice it's taken to get to the Skeleton start block at #Sochi12014 #gogirls— @kristanbromley 13 February 2014
We'll be keeping an eye on all of the skeleton action in Russia this morning so keep your browsers firmly logged on to gazetteandherald.co.uk/sport to see if Shelley's Sochi story gets off to the perfect start. And don't forget that the women's second runs are due to begin at 8.40am.
You can send us your good luck messages for Shelley in the comment box below or feel free to tweet us @gazsport
Just to recap, the Pewsey star is scheduled to hit the ice third, with the USA's Noelle Pikus-Pace kicking things off before Rudman's fellow Great Britain slider Lizzy Yarnold – who has been widely touted as a medal favourite after winning this season's World Cup series – goes off second.
The 32-year-old, who won a stunning silver medal in Turin in 2006 and was also sixth in Vancouver four years later, pushes off on her first run of Sochi 2014 at the Sliding Centre Sanki today, with this morning's action getting underway at 7.30am UK time.
Whilst all of the early risers around Wiltshire might still be wiping their eyes and pouring that first morning brew, one woman who's bound to already be at her sharpest is Pewsey's Shelley Rudman, who kicks off her third quest for Olympic glory this morning.
Dan will be back here from 7am with all the build-up, plus action from Sochi, plus reaction to the opening two runs of the Olympic womne's skeleton.
Don't forget to send your messages of support for Shelley by commenting under today's live blog, or via Twitter to @gazsport.
Other names to watch out for are Austria's Janine Flock, German's Anja Huber and Marion Thees as well as the Russian contingent led by Maria Orlova, who - naturally - have had plenty of practice on this track.
According to the start list provided by Sochi 2014, Shelley is due off third, after America's Noelle Pikus-Pace, who is highly fancied for a medal, and Great Britain's Lizzy Yarnold, the reigning World Cup champion who has been sweeping all before her in the training runs in Sochi this week
Sports writer Dan Barnes will be with you from 7am on Thursday morning with all the build-up to the start of the race, with the first run due off from 7.30am (British time), followed by the second from 8.40am.
Good morning and welcome to our coverage of the first two runs in the Olympic women's skeleton, where 2006 silver medallist Shelley Rudman, from Pewsey, will be aiming to add a gold medal to her glittering CV.