Winter Olympics 2018: Laura Deas targets Pyeongchang skeleton medal

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Winter Olympics 2018: Laura Deas wants to continue GB skeleton success
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Welsh slider Laura Deas "totally believes" she can win an Olympics medal if selected on the Great Britain skeleton team.

The 2018 Games take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea on 9-25 February.

Wrexham's Deas, 29, joined the British skeleton programme in 2009, but has yet to go to a Winter Olympics.

"It'd just be the best feeling," she told BBC Sport Wales.

"Missing out the first time round [for the Sochi Olympics in 2014] was devastating, but at the same time it really pushed me on to make sure I was in much better condition than I was back then.

"So I'm really excited I could be going to my first Games in February."

Laura Deas
Laura Deas consistently placed in the top 10 on the World Cup circuit last season

It was a tumultuous summer for the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association (BBSA).

The bobsleigh setup was accused of having a "toxic atmosphere" by a former athlete and both its head coach and performance director left.

The BBSA also withdrew funding from its women's team, before announcing it would in fact help them "press ahead" for Olympic qualification.

But Deas says the skeleton squad have been working hard since the last season ended in March and - after Olympic gold medals for Amy Williams in 2010 and Lizzy Yarnold in 2014 - Deas says she has confidence in the team around her.

"It just proves that we as a team know what we're doing," she said.

"We've got the same core team that have delivered those results in the past.

"So it gives me a lot of confidence that I can trust those people around us.

"I don't know whether it's the longest pre-season in any sport. We spend months and months not actually being able to practise the sport we do.

"But that doesn't mean we can't make sure every other box is ticked, so when we do hit the ice we're competitive straightaway."

Amy Williams and Lizzy Yarnold
Amy Williams (2010) and Lizzy Yarnold (2014) have both claimed Olympic skeleton gold for Team GB

The skeleton World Cup's 2017-17 season begins in Lake Placid, USA, from 5-10 November.

It features eight races across North America and Europe between then and January.

Deas, who ended 2016-17 ranked eighth in the world, says the World Cup season will be useful preparation for a medal push in Pyeongchang.

"I totally believe that if it's my day I can win a medal," she said.

"I've stood on a World Cup podium plenty of times and it'll be the same field of competitors.

"Having said that, the Olympic environment is something I'm yet to experience.

"It's going to be massive and different from the regular World Cup circuit."

Deas failed to win a medal in 2016-17, but was consistently in the top 10.

"I know I can put down world's best times and I want to be able to do that more than every now and again," she continued.

"You can win or lose a race by two or three hundredths of a second, so preparation is going to be key, and getting everything right on the day.

"Being consistently world class is what I'm aiming to do."

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