Laura Deas after winning bronze in PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Pic: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images

Laura Deas Set For Skeleton Charge At World Championship As Clock Ticks Towards Beijing 2022

By Gareth James

Wales’s ice queen Laura Deas spearheads Britain’s women at the World Skeleton Championships in Germany starting on Thursday.

The Wrexham-born slider is part of a six-strong GB squad for the championships in Altenberg as the clock continues to tick towards next year’s Winter Olympics in China.

Deas leads the women’s effort three years after she made history by winning bronze as Lizzy Yarnold struck gold in PyeongChang, becoming the first Welsh woman to win a medal at a winter Games.

And while it is little less than a year to go before the 2022 Games, Deas can still remember the thrill of competing in South Korea three years ago.

“The opening ceremony was completely mind blowing,” said Deas, who stood by Yarnold as the reigning Olympic Champion carried the Union flag into the arena and just over a week later they were together again when the pair shared the podium after an historic double medal day at the Alpensia Sliding Centre.

“That’s the first time you truly appreciate where you are and what you’re doing. That’s when it hits you.

“Up until that point, it’s all about logistics and travel and training. But when you put all the kit on and walk out behind the Union flag, that’s when you think, ‘Oh my God, I’m at the Olympics and I’m representing my country – this is actually happening’.

“I’m looking forwad to hopefully being able to do it again.

Gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold (l) and bronze medallist Laura Deas celebrate their historic achievement in 2018. Pic: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

“Being a year out from Beijing definitely makes it feel more real. I remember this time in the last cycle thinking I’m never going to be ready in a year! I then remember panicking at the end of 2017 that I wasn’t ready for it to be 2018!

“It’s really easy to get pulled in different directions and get distracted by things that aren’t that important when you really think about it.

“So sticking with the processes for the things that will actually make a difference over these 12 months is really important.

“I guess if I’ve learned anything from that experience it’s that you’re more prepared than you think you are.

“You can’t get overly stressed about it – you don’t want to get distracted by the noise but you just have to try and enjoy the experience because it goes so fast.”

Laura Deas training in the garden in Wiltshire during lockdown. Pic: Stu Forster/Getty Images

But first for Deas are the World Championships where she will be joined by 2016 Youth Olympic Champion Ashleigh Pittaway and Brogan Crowley in the women’s event.

Deas finished eighth in her final World Cup appearance before the worlds in Austria last month.

Last November she finished fifth in Latvia, her best World Cup result for 18 months.

Race schedule

Thurs 11 Feb
Women’s Skeleton (Heat 1 & 2) 8am
Men’s Skeleton (Heat 1 & 2) 12pm

Fri 12 Feb
Women’s Skeleton (Heat 3 & 4) 8am
Men’s Skeleton (Heat 3 & 4) 12pm

Sat 13 Feb
Skeleton Mixed Team Competition 8am
Women’s monobob (Heat 1 & 2) 10.30am
Men’s 4-man bobsleigh (Heat 1 & 2) 2.45pm


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