Lizzy Yarnold: Olympic champion returns to skeleton action in World Cup in Whistler

Lizzy Yarnold
Britain's Lizzy Yarnold missed the 2015-16 World Cup season as part of a break from skeleton

Britain's Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold returns after more than a year and a half out in the World Cup opener in Canada this weekend.

The 28-year-old has not competed since winning World Championship gold in Germany in March 2015.

"I've come back feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to give it my all again," said Yarnold.

Former GB sprinter Mark Lewis-Francis is set to make his World Cup debut in the four-man bobsleigh in Whistler.

Lamin Deen leads the four-man crew, which also includes Andrew Matthews and Tremayne Gilling.

Former England Rugby Sevens star Sam Blanchet is joined in the two-man bobsleigh by Welsh pilot Bruce Tasker.

Tasker is joined by fellow Welsh competitors Laura Deas, in the skeleton, and Mica Moore.

Commonwealth Games sprint relay finalist Moore, from Newport, will make her World Cup debut alongside pilot Mica McNeil in the women's bobsleigh sled.

Great Britain Bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson said: "The message I've got from other nations is that they are looking to see what Great Britain have done and they want to pitch themselves against us. That's very positive news for me."

Yarnold, who won Olympic gold at Sochi 2014, also claimed European and overall World Cup titles before announcing in September 2015 that she was taking a year out from the sport.

The three-day World Cup in Canada, which starts on Friday, is the first of eight in the 2016-17 season.

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