Lizzy Yarnold targets winning World Cup skeleton return

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Britain's Lizzy Yarnold
Yarnold's last competitive outing resulted in a gold medal

Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold aims to mark her return to the sport with victory in Friday's season-opening World Cup meeting in Lake Placid.

Yarnold, 26, won the race last season en-route to claiming the overall World Cup title and Olympic gold in Sochi.

The Briton said complacency was behind a recent training crash but intends to put that right in the United States.

"Last year I had two podium finishes there so I'm hoping to be just as successful this year," said Yarnold.

2014-15 Skeleton-Bobsleigh World Cups
Lake Placid, USA - 8-13 DecSt. Moritz, Switzerland - 19-25 Jan
Calgary, Canada - 15-20 DecLa Plagne, France - 26 Jan-1 Feb
Altenberg, Germany - 5-11 JanIgls, Austria - 2-8 Feb
Königssee, Germany - 12-18 JanSochi, Russia - 10-15 Feb

The slider, who has not raced competitively since the Winter Olympics, will be joined by fellow Britons Dominic Parsons, Rose McGrandle, Laura Deas and Ed Smith.

Pregnant world champion Shelley Rudman will miss the entire season while partner Kristan Bromley is also absent because of injury.

Parsons, who finished 10th in Sochi, recently announced a new partnershipexternal-link with Bromley and hopes that will boost his podium prospects.

"I have a new sled and although it's still early in the transition I'm excited to see what I can do against a World Cup field," said Parsons.

Lizzie Yarnold
Yarnold beat her closest competitor to Olympic gold by 0.97 seconds in Sochi earlier this year

The British bobsleigh teams will also begin their season in Lake Placid, although they are missing leading pilots John Jackson and Paula Walker.

The pair recently had their first child together, ruling out new mother Walker for the season, while Jackson is recovering from a recurrence of an old Achilles injury.

Olympic pilot Lamin Deen, who has won two gold medals on the lower-tier Americas Cup circuit over the last month, will lead the British four and two-man teams.

"We had a great Americas Cup series, performing beyond expectations," British Bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson told BBC Sport.

"We now go into the World Cup with confidence and for Lamin this is a great chance to show what he can do."

Mica McNeill and Victoria Olaoye will pilot the two British sleds in the women's two-man event.

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