Lizzy Yarnold targets world skeleton medal after 'disappointing' comeback

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Lizzy Yarnold had a change of pace - making lampshades in her year off from skeleton
Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Championships
Venue: Konigssee, Germany Date: 17-26 February
Coverage: Live coverage on Connected TV, BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website

Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold says she is "fired up" for the World Championships after a "disappointing" return to the sport.

After completing a career grand slam in 2015, Yarnold took a year's sabbatical citing exhaustion, before returning to action late last year.

She claimed silver in her second race back, but after struggling with a back injury came 11th in her last race.

"Results this season haven't been as good as they should've been," she said.

"There have obviously been issues and there are concerns, but I have always enjoyed failure, getting things wrong and being disappointed because that's what fires me up for the next competition."

The World Championships are taking place in Konigssee, Germany.

The first two of four runs for the female skeleton sliders begin at 14:00 GMT and 16:00 GMT on Friday, with the second two on Saturday (from 07:30 GMT and 09:30 GMT).

Since returning to the sport, Yarnold has suffered a recurrence of the dizzy spells which she first experienced in the season following the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, and developed a back condition which at one stage left her struggling to walk.

The 28-year-old insists she is learning to combat the problems and is happy with the improvements she is making with less than a year to go until the 2018 Games.

"It sounds weird to say, but I think I'm definitely a better athlete than I was leading up to Sochi," she told BBC Sport.

"This season has actually been very successful as I'm learning and building the foundations which are going to be fundamental to the Olympics.

"Trying to be the first British Winter Olympian to defend my title is a huge juicy goal that gets me out of bed every day."

I cannot wait for Pyeongchang 2018 - Yarnold

The 2015 world champion is part of a six-strong British skeleton team competing at this year's Worlds.

The event was originally due to take place in Sochi before the sport's international governing body, IBSF, stripped Russia of the hosting rights following the publication of the second McLaren report.

Prior to the decision, Yarnold stated she would consider boycotting the event and told BBC Sport she was "pleased" a "strong stance" had been taken.

The slider is now hoping to recapture her form on a track she traditionally enjoys competing on.

"I would love to get a world medal," said Yarnold. "I'm going into the race to win but it's a year out [from the Olympics] still so, as long as I'm learning getting better I'll be pleased with my performance."

Yarnold is joined by Laura Deas and Donna Creighton in the women's squad, with Dom Parsons, Jack Thomas and Jerry Rice making up the men's line-up.

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