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Britain gets a gold - Ben Clatworthy, Racing Correspondent
Saturday February 20, 2010 - Email this article to a friend

Amy Williams takes first place in the skeleton and wins Britain's first gold at a Winter Olympics for 30 years. It's been a night of celebration in Vancouver and at home in the UK for her fans.

The 27-year-old from Bath won the women's skeleton title at Vancouver 2010 Olympic by an emphatic 0.56 seconds.

It's the first women's individual gold medallist for 58 years.

Amy lead from the off and was over half a second up after the third run, setting a new Track Record of 53.68 in the process.

She started the day in first position as we reported here.

Amy slid last in the fourth and final run, and a faultless slide confirmed Williams as the Olympic Champion 2010 finishing 0.56 of a second up on 2nd place Kerstin Szymkowiak of Germany.  Anja Huber, also of Germany, took bronze finishing just 0.72 seconds off the pace. 

It was a tantalising wait for everyone supporting the Brit.  Amy thanked everyone in interviews afterwards and exclaimed how happy she was.

"It's absolutely brilliant. It's out of this world. Never in a million years did I think I'd come here and win gold," she said. "I don't think it will sink in for weeks and weeks.

"It's amazing to do this for my country. I had nothing to lose here and I just went for it. I enjoyed every minute. 

"I knew I had to just keep it together.  I can't remember what I did on the last run, half of the track is just a blur.

"I've done everything I possibly could in the last four years to get here and to put in my best performance."

Amy in actionAmy in action











It’s not been an easy ride to glory for Amy as controversy over her helmet lead to a jury investigation on Thursday evening after the USA filed a protest.  They claimed it had aerodynamic spoilers attached which are against the rules.

All this just made Amy angrier and more determined to win, and that’s just what she did.

Teammate and training partner from Bath, Serita Shone told me just moments after Amy won, “I’m crying with elation! She is the nicest, brightest, amazing woman in the world!”  A frantic text conversation between us at the competition unfolded shows just how thrilled we were at Amy’s success.

Shelly Rudman wished Amy the best of luck after the third run, however couldn’t help but feel she had missed out this time round.

Team-mate Shelley Rudman, Team GB's Turin 2006 silver medallist, finished sixth.

Williams remained grounded saying: "I started afresh today and really enjoyed it. Corner 12 and 13 was a bit hairy, but it was a good run."

Rudman was also battling. Her third run time of 53.95 was her fastest of the Games to date and reinforced her seventh place overall going into the final run.  The Sheffield slider said: "I'm starting to enjoy it now. I'm getting a little bit better every time I go."

Rudman went on to produce the fastest final run - a time of 53.82 - to climb to sixth overall in 3:36.69.

Britain has medalled at every Olympic Winter Games to feature skeleton, with David Carnegie, the 11th Earl of Northesk, winning bronze in 1928 and John Crammond also winning bronze in 1948.

Williams' gold was Team GB's ninth gold in Olympic Winter Games history. The last gold was won by the women's curling team in Salt Lake City in 2002 and the last individual gold was won by figure skater Robin Cousins at Lake Placid in 1980.

The last woman to win an individual gold was Jeannette Altwegg, who won figure skating gold in Oslo in 1952.

See our special Olympic Section on PlanetSKI; as well as the latest news it is has some in-depth features and a few stories that you wont see elsewhere.

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