Lizzy Yarnold fourth on skeleton return in World Cup opener

Lizzy Yarnold
Britain's Lizzy Yarnold marked her return to World Cup competition with a fourth-placed finish

Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold finished fourth on her return to competition after more than 18 months out at the World Cup opener in Canada.

The Briton, 28, missed out on bronze by one hundredth of a second to world champion Tina Hermann, with Elisabeth Vathje of Canada claiming gold.

Yarnold has been on an extended break and last competed when winning gold at the World Championships in March 2015.

Fellow Briton Laura Deas finished in a tie for sixth at the event in Whistler.

"I wasn't sure how I'd get on in Whistler after mid-field training times," said Yarnold, who won Olympic gold at Sochi 2014.

"To know that I can bring it on race day is a big confidence boost. Fourth place is job done - I've conquered the Whistler track once more."

Yarnold, from England, and Wales' Deas will next compete at race two of the World Cup on 17 December at Lake Placid in the USA.

"It's great to be sliding with Lizzy again," said Deas, 28. "We've had a really good vibe in the team and we push each other on.

"It was awesome to see her come back after her break and do so well."

Meanwhile, British short track speed skater Jack Whelbourne, 25, has announced his retirement from the sport.

Whelbourne became the first British skater to reach a Winter Olympic 1500m final at Sochi 2014.

He said: "Being a full-time athlete has taken its toll on my body.

"I've always been able to bounce back, but I've been competing and training at a high level for a long time now and I feel it's the right time for me to step away."

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