Lizzy Yarnold aims to complete skeleton career 'grand slam'

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Lizzy Yarnold targets maiden world championship gold
Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships on the BBC
Venue: Winterberg, Germany Dates: until 8 March
Coverage: Live on BBC Red Button, Connected TV, online, mobile, and the BBC Sport app.

Winning World championship gold would be an achievement equal to Olympic glory, says Britain's Lizzy Yarnold.

She secured the women's skeleton gold at the Sochi Games last year and is seeking a maiden world title in Winterberg, Germany, this weekend.

Victory would complete a career grand slam - with Yarnold having won the 2015 European crown and last season's overall World Cup title.

"It would be a real career-high," Yarnold, 26, told BBC Sport.

"To have all four titles in 13 months would be amazing - that has never happened before.

"As soon as I crossed the line in Sochi I knew I wanted to be world champion, that is what all my preparation has been for this season and it [winning] would be as important as [being] Olympic champion."

Lizzy Yarnold on post-Olympic skeleton return:
"The motivation in the gym came back straight away, but the motivation for competition was a bit slower. It's exhausting being away from home and training every day, but when it came to being back on the track and at the start-line I had that fire in my belly and I can't stop - I just want to keep going."

The 26-year-old, who won bronze at the 2012 Worlds and was fourth in 2013, will begin this year's event with two runs on Friday, before completing her schedule with two further runs the following day.

The Bath-based slider has won a personal record of five World Cup races this season, but finished second in the overall standings after missing the event in Calgary, Canada, in December 2014 after experiencing 'dizziness'.

Britain's Lizzy Yarnold repeats Sochi success

It happened during her comeback victory at Lake Placid, United States, the week before.

"I was concerned at the start when I was competing and felt quite dizzy," said Yarnold, who did black-out on a run earlier in her career.

"It was the right decision to miss the race, come back to the UK to rest and have lots of tests because everything was then fine and I could come back with lots of confidence."

Reigning world champion Shelley Rudman missed the 2014-15 season because of pregnancy, but fellow Britons Laura Deas and Rose McGrandle stepped up and finished on the podium on three occasions.

"I feel this has been a big break-through season for me," said Deas, who claimed two World Cup medals.

"The GB women are the top nation in the world right now and we go to Germany with confidence but no complacency."

British Skeleton World championship squad
Lizzy YarnoldDominic Parsons
Laura DeasEd Smith
Rose McGrandleDavid Swift

Yarnold certainly has form in Winterberg, having won there during last season's successful World Cup campaign.

"I love the track in Winterberg," she said. "It's easy to get down, but hard to get down fast.

"I'm desperate to be World champion and I would love it to be in Winterberg."

The British men's team of Dom Parsons, David Swift and Ed Smith begin their campaign on Wednesday and conclude the following day.

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