SHELLEY Rudman rose to the occasion yesterday as she was crowned world skeleton champion in St Moritz after blitzing her big-name rivals by more than half a second.
It was an emphatic display by Rudman, whose win made her the first British woman to claim a sliding world title, and the first Briton since her partner Kristan Bromley won the men’s title in 2008.
Rudman, who trains and lives in Sheffield, said: “I’m so happy because this was the one medal in my sport I hadn’t won. I always set goals and the world title was my number one priority this year. I had quite a good cushion going into my final two runs but I am experienced enough to know it was nowhere near over.”
Rudman will now prepare to head to Sochi where she will get her first taste of next year’s Winter Olympic track at the final World Cup race of the regular season in a fortnight’s time. Now Rudman, who followed her silver medal in Turin with a relatively disappointing performance in Vancouver in 2010, believes she will begin her build-up towards 2014 in better shape than ever.
“I’ve been in two Olympic environments. I’ve built up quite a range of experiences so hopefully I can bring that into play. I can’t wait to go to Sochi and start to get to know the track ahead of next year.”