SOCHI 2014: Rudman eyes further improvement
Updated 11:38am Thursday 13th February 2014 in By Dan Barnes
Shelley Rudman was pleased to move up the rankings in her second run at Sochi 2014 this morning and thanked her fans in Wiltshire and elsewhere for their supportive messages on Twitter.
The 32-year-old Pewsey ace kicked off her third Winter Olympic campaign at the Sanki Sliding Centre and sits 11th overall at the half-way point after completing the first two of her four runs earlier today.
Rudman clocked in at 59.46 in her first run to sit 12th in the standings but shaved 0.13 seconds off that time in her second heat, racing over the line in 59.33 and leapfrogging Australia's Michelle Steele as she notched up an overall time of 1:58.79.
The 2013 world champion told BBC Sport: "I'm pleased. It wasn't too bad but 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."
Later she said: "I didn't get curve 14 on the first run and it's an uphill section so that bled my time.
"I pushed a lot faster for the second run and made up a bit of time, so I can only be pleased with that. It's not a bad day."
And she tweeted: "Thanks for all the messages everyone. There was a great vibe at the track today!"
Rudman's Great Britain team-mate Lizzy Yarnold lived up to her billing as the pre-race favourite as she blazed home fastest in both runs, carving out a lead of 0.44 seconds at the top of the standings.
This year's World Cup series winner clocked up an overall time of 1:56.89, with the USA's Noelle Pikus-Pace second (1:57.33) and Russia's Elena Nikitina third (1:57.44).
The third runs begin at 3.40pm UK time tomorrow afternoon, before the Olympic podium positions will be decided at 4.50pm in the final heat.
LOG ON TO GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK TOMORROW AFTERNOON FOR LIVE UPDATES FROM THE FINAL HALF OF THE WOMEN'S SKELETON AT SOCHI 2014. TWEET US YOUR GOOD LUCK MESSAGES FOR SHELLEY RUDMAN @gazsport