Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Williams Feels Right at Home

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Williams Feels Right at Home

Article excerpt

F OUR years after Shelley Rudman came from nowhere to claim silver in Turin, Great Britain's best hopes of winning its first Winter Olympic medal of 2010 have once again emerged from a capable source.

While Rudman continues to struggle to adapt to the lightning-fast Whistler track ahead of tonight's start of the women's skeleton competition, teammate Amy Williams' practice times have flung the Bath athlete into contention.

Williams recorded the second quickest time in three of the final four training runs, suggesting she is capable of emulating her World Cup silver medal at the same venue last year, behind the strong Canadian gold medal favourite Mellisa Hollingsworth.

Rudman, by contrast, freely admits the Whistler track is not for her, although a series of off-pace training times improved to a fourth place on the final run, marking her too out as an outside bet to repeat her heroics of Turin.

Throughout a build-up in which most of the attention has been focused on her rival Rudman, Williams has quietly told those who would listen that the hairraising speed and curves of the Whistler course would suit her strengths.

Now with the spotlight well and truly swivelled in her direction for the four runs split over two evenings which will determine the medals high in the Canadian mountains, Williams is determined to manage the raised expectations. Williams said: "You kind of presume you're not going to get a medal because of how well the Canadians are doing. I haven't let it enter my head and I'm just going to stick that way and not get nervous.

"My main concern was whether being at the Olympics would freak me out. I've been very tired the whole time because I've been living on adrenaline but on track I treat it like any other race.

"On the first day I was really nervous and tense but now I've just relaxed and I'm enjoying it. …

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