Pyeongchang 2018 bronze medallist Laura Deas will attempt to go one or two better at the Beijing Winter Olympics after she was confirmed as one of four Team GB skeleton athletes to go to the Games.
Three members of the squad will be making their debuts – Brogan Crowley, Marcus Wyatt and Matt Weston, who this season became the first British man to win a World Cup title in almost 14 years.
Deas finished on the podium four years ago behind Lizzy Yarnold, who became the first British woman to retain a Winter Olympic title with victory in South Korea, having also claimed gold at Sochi 2014. She has the unenviable task of trying to keep the women’s title in GB hands, having won the last three Games starting with Amy Williams’ triumph at Vancouver 2010.
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Weston has had a breakthrough year having only been on the circuit for a short time, and he claimed a remarkable World Cup win in Igls during November, sharing the title there with China’s Wenqiang Geng and Germany’s Christian Grotheer after all three athletes recorded exactly the same time.
Wyatt impressed during a test event for the Beijing Games, finishing second at the same track that will be used for the Winter Olympics. He was unable to register a podium spot during the World Cup season but finished fifth at the second tier Intercontinental Cup at a recent event in Altenburg.
Crowley, a former heptathlete, has competed on the World Cup circuit since the start of 2020 and has achieved two top 10 finishes, including fifth in Innsbruck during January 2021.
“I still can’t believe it’s real!” said Weston.
“Being selected to not only go to an Olympics but be aiming for medals is a dream I have had since I can remember.
“I can’t wait to head back out to the best track I’ve raced on this season and enjoy every moment.”
British Skeleton Performance Director and Team GB Team Leader, Natalie Dunman, said: “All four selected athletes have worked incredibly hard and have been on interesting journeys to reach this point in a sport they took up only a few years ago, and we hope they can inspire and encourage others at home to follow in their footsteps.
We head to Beijing with a young team in terms of sliding experience but we’re all excited to see the athletes compete on a challenging track where we hope to follow on from our success in the test event back in October.
“Our season has been focused on being the best prepared nation as we go into Beijing – in what has been a particularly challenging time for all winter sports – and we’re confident our athletes can go out there and put down their best performances. Ultimately, anything can happen in the sport of skeleton at an Olympic Games, and that’s what makes it so exciting to watch.”
Both skeleton events take place over two days, with the men’s competition going first on the 10th before the women’s discipline on the 11th.
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Source: Euro Sports