Britain wins rare Winter Olympics gold

Feb. 19, 2010 at 10:25 PM
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WHISTLER, British Columbia, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Amy Williams collected a rare Winter Olympics gold medal for Britain Friday by winning the women's skeleton event.

It was only the second gold medal for Britain in the last seven Winter Games. She also became the first individual British Winter Olympics champion in a sport other than figure skating.

Williams made four trips down the Whistler Sliding Course in a combined time of 3:35.64 to win the gold by 0.56 of a second over Kerstin Szymkowiak of Germany.

Another German, Anja Huber, finished third. American Noelle Pikus-Pace wound up fourth, missing a medal by a tenth of a second.

Canada's Mellisa Hollingsworth was second going into the final run, but she had only the 11th-best final trip down the course and fell to fifth. Hollingsworth won the bronze medal four years ago.

Britain has had a very limited history in the Winter Olympics, confined chiefly to heroics in figure skating.

The only other British gold medal since 1984 came in women's curling eight years ago. Britain won just one medal of any kind in 2006. That also came in skeleton, a silver won by Shelley Rudman. She competed again this year and finished sixth.

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