WINTER OLYMPICS: Shelley stays upbeat over Sochi prospects
SHELLEY Rudman insists there is still work to do, but is remaining calm after her first day of official skeleton training at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rosa Khutor yesterday.
Gold medal favourite Lizzy Yarnold posted the fastest time on the first day of official training, finishing in 58.59 seconds in the first of her two runs, 0.05 seconds ahead of Russia's Maria Orlova, with her major rival, American Noelle Pikus-Pace, back in 11th place.
Yarnold, who had dominated in unofficial training late last week, was fourth fastest in a slower second run in which Pikus-Pace, who split the eight World Cup races with the Briton this season, was again off the pace in 13th place.
Turin silver medallist Rudman placed in 15th and 16th places respectively over her two runs and said: "I think the competition is going to be really exciting to watch and definitely Great Britain with Lizzy, the Americans and the Germans are quite strong now.
"I think it's going to be quite an open race. It will be intriguing."
Yarnold and Rudman will start their medal quest with the first two of their four runs on Thursday, before the medals are decided on the following night.
Rudman added: "There are still a few elements that I'm working on and I'm not quite as fast as I should be on the course," she said.
"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."
Rudman believes the whole Team GB camp has been lifted after Jenny Jones won snowboard slopestyle bronze on day two of the Games.
"It was incredible, there was a really great vibe in Team GB house all the athletes were watching Jenny and she was incredible, I think it's really uplifted the whole team and we're really proud," added Rudman.
"We're a really small team but the atmosphere among us is incredibly close. The medal from Jenny is only going to build momentum and I hope off the back of this we will have a huge influx of athletes coming in to try them."
Meanwhile, Yarnold has praised teammate and rival Rudman for making sure she does not get swept up in the emotion of her Olympic debut.
"I take a lot from Shelley and she's a great help to me," she said. "We are going into the Olympics with World Cup and world champions, so Great Britain skeleton squad is an amazing team to be a part of."
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