Pewsey’s Shelley Rudman was a mere footnote yet again in the women’s skeleton at the Winter Olympics – and she refused to confirm or deny whether she’ll be having another attempt at glory.
Rudman claimed Olympic silver eight years ago in Turin but has failed to reach those heights again as first Amy Williams in Vancouver and now Lizzy Yarnold in Sochi have gone one better.
The 32-year-old battled mercifully with the course at the Sanki Sliding Center but couldn’t get to grips with it enough to realistically bid for a medal as she finished in 16th place.
Rudman clocked an overall time of 3:56.47 minutes from her four runs – almost four seconds away from Yarnold, who even heading into the final with a near one-second cushion hardly put a foot wrong.
Her placing of 16th is ten places lower than what she achieved at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver four years ago and will give Rudman plenty of food for thought as she jets off on holiday.
“I am really happy that I really stuck with it and really tried my hardest to connect with the track but it was one that didn’t suit my style of driving,” said Rudman.
“But that final run, there were parts of it where I thought ‘I am getting it, I am getting it’. I just tried everything I could and I am happy that I really stuck with it.
“My starts were really good on the first day and I can only be happy and the support back home has been brilliant.
“I look at my career and think ‘yeah, it’s great’ and what we are going to do know is try and go on a family holiday, relax a little bit and set some new goals out for possible Pyeongchang.”
Rudman has achieved almost everything possible in the sport of skeleton – she’s the current world gold medallist and a former World Cup and European champion.
She just can’t seem to upgrade her Olympic silver medal from 2006 to gold although Yarnold, who becomes the fourth British female in succession to medal at the Games, insists Rudman played a role in her success.
“At the end Shelley said ‘go and see your family’ and she has been incredible,” said Yarnold. “There are loads of people back in the UK have supported me like my family “And it is also people like the whole team of British skeleton and National Lottery funding and UK Sport – all of those people make a load difference to us athletes.”
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