Pyeongchang 2018: Laura Deas wants skeleton Olympic medal after Sochi absence

Laura Deas
Laura Deas switched to the skeleton after competing in equestrian eventing

Laura Deas is "motivated" to win a skeleton Olympic medal for Great Britain after failing to qualify for the 2014 Games in Sochi.

The 29-year-old from Wrexham is the top ranked British women and is fifth in this season's world standings.

In January the GB team will be selected for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on 9-25 February.

"I'm feeling as confident as I could be at this moment, knowing selection is out of my control," she said.

"I know I'm having a good season, I'm consistently in and around the top six which is in the target. With three races to go I am feeling pretty good."

Deas is seven places above Britain's 2014 gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold in the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) rankings.

When asked if she could can win a medal in Pyeongchang in what would be her first Olympics - if Deas makes selection on 22 January in Stockport - the Welsh slider said: "Absolutely.

"That's what I have been aiming to do for a long time, the fact that I missed out on Sochi... four years ago has really given me that extra motivation to want to be there, to become an Olympian and ultimately be on the podium."

Media playback is not supported on this device

GB's Deas sixth in Innsbruck as Yarnold struggles

Deas missed out on a European medal by 0.01 seconds at the latest round of the World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria, this week - finishing fourth of the Europeans and sixth overall in an event won by Elena Nikitina.

In November 2017, Nikitina was stripped of her Olympic bronze medal and banned from future Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for breaching anti-doping rules at Sochi 2014.

But the IBSF has allowed the Russian to compete on the world circuit after lifting its initial ban.

Nikitina is appealing against the IOC decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The IOC has banned Russia from competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics, but Russian athletes who can prove they are clean will be allowed to compete in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag.

"It's frustrating because I want to be competing on a level playing field, and it's frustrating to know, with evidence, that it's not the case at the moment," Deas said.

"But at the same time I know it is counterproductive to get too caught up in it.

"Although I'm trying to stay up to date with what is going on, I don't want to become obsessed with it because I think, in the long run, that doesn't help me and my performance."

Top Stories