SKELETON BOB: Golden girl has Olympic target
ICE queen Shelley Rudman’s World Championship triumph left her feeling “complete’’ – but that won’t stop the Pewsey slider from targeting an even more precious gold medal next year.
The 31-year-old became the first British woman to claim a sliding world title, and the first Briton since her fiancé Kristan Bromley won the men’s title in 2008 – with victory in St Moritz, Switzerland.
The win followed her silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics and last year’s first victory in the World Cup series, with Rudman also crowned European champion twice.
She said: “When I won my Olympic medal in Turin (2006) after only competing in the sport for four years, I didn’t want to be known as a ‘one hit wonder’ and only ever win that medal and nothing else, then disappear out of the sport.
“Gradually over the years, I’ve achieved every medal in skeleton, and the World Championship medal was the only one outstanding, so I set that as my goal two years ago. When I won it I actually felt really complete with what I’ve achieved so far in the sport.
“I didn’t realise that I was the first woman to ever win a world championship in skeleton so that was a lovely added bonus.’’
Rudman destroyed her rivals in St Moritz, leading the field by a second after two of the four runs and going on to claim victory by 0.57 of a second from America’s Noelle Pikus-Pace and Canada’s Sarah Reid.
She added: “I had quite a good cushion going into my final two runs but I am experienced enough to know it was nowhere near over. (I knew) just one mistake could put me out of the medals.’’
Rudman followed Olympic bobsleigh champions Tony Nash and Robin Dixon (1965) and Frederick McEvoy’s four-man crew (1937) as a British world champion at St Moritz and immediately set her sights on the top prize at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, which start a year today.
She jetted out to Russia this week on a fact-finding mission at the Olympic track, ahead of the final round of the World Cup series there next week.
The mum-of-one added: “This trip is all about learning the track and everything about it as fast as possible.
“I’m not concerned about the World Cup race next week and will be using it as two extra training runs because my main focus is to try and qualify for Sochi 2014 next season and race as well as I can there.’’